St. Petersburg Families Flock to Turkey, Spain
Published: June 11, 2014 (Issue # 1815)
With the arrival of the summer holidays, Russian families are packing up and heading abroad to soak up the sun, with Greece, Spain and Turkey the most popular destinations, according to a recent survey by online-booking service Oktogo.ru.
The survey results were based on the number of hotel bookings with children made for the period from June 1 to Aug. 31.
For Petersburgers, Turkey is this year’s most popular destination for summer vacations, according to Pavel Rumyantsev, spokesman for the Northwestern regional branch of the Russian Tourism Industry Union, speaking to The St. Petersburg Times.
“The slowing economy, current political situation and unfavorable exchange rate have all played an important factor in where St. Petersburg families are taking summer vacations this year,” he said.
According to Rumyantsev, these factors have led to an increase in trips to Turkey, as it is seen as offering the most value for money. Other value-for-money destinations that have also had an increase in bookings include Egypt, Tunisia, Morocco and Israel. However, these countries are still not as popular as European resorts, Rumyantsev said.
He also added that trips to Europe this year by local families have dropped 15 to 20 percent in comparison to last year.
Within Russia, the most popular Russian cities to visit this year with kids so far are St. Petersburg, Moscow, Sochi, Anapa, Kazan, Sevastopol, Veliky Novgorod, Iyeisk, Yaroslavl, Gelendjik, Yalta and the Moscow suburbs, according to the Oktogo.ru survey.
The survey also showed that while travelers with kids tend to stay an average of two days in- Moscow, they prefer to spend up to five days in St. Petersburg.