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St. Petersburg Families Flock to Turkey, Spain

Published: June 11, 2014 (Issue # 1815)



  • The beaches of Turkey beckon Russian tourists this year.
    Photo:

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.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Thursday, Dec. 25


Make this Christmas a slam-dunk and check out the Zenit St. Petersburg basketball club as they take on Nizhny Novgorod this evening at the Sibur Arena on Krestovsky Ostrov at 8 p.m. Tickets are still available on the club’s website for as little as 200 rubles ($3.30).


Spend your yuletide with Oleg Basilashvili this evening at the Concert Hall at 13/1 Arsenalnaya Naberezhnaya . The legendary film and stage actor will chat with fans, tell stories and share memories of an extensive career that has earned him acclaim throughout Russia.



Friday, Dec. 26


Celebrate Boxing Day by playing various tabletop games during the British Book Center’s Board Game Evening tonight at 5 p.m. Spread the Christmas cheer and goodwill by making other people regret their decision to come and try to match their intellectual prowess against yours.



Saturday, Dec. 27


Indulge cultural and material needs simultaneously during the free classical music concert at the Galeria shopping mall in the heart of the city. Starting at 7 p.m., shoppers and mallwalkers will be able to hear the sounds of Tchaikovsky and Strauss softly lilt over the constant buzz of people bustling from store to store, trying to get their shopping done before New Year.



Sunday, Dec. 28


Prepare for the holidays at the Russian Winter New Year’s Fair on Moskovskaya Ploshchad, which concludes today after starting on Dec. 22. Games and attractions as well as numerous performances will be on offer for those looking to get into the spirit while numerous vendors will help make sure you have something for everyone on your list.



Monday, Dec. 29


Learn how the Swedes observe Christmas, or Jul, in their land of ice and snow, during aSwedish Christmas celebration at the Lermontov Children’s Library this afternoon at 4 p.m. Activities explaining and demonstrating Sweden’s cultural traditions will be accompanied by traditional dishes and sweets.



Tuesday, Dec. 30


Today is the final day of the Christmas Market at the Europolis shopping center on Polyustrovsky prospekt. Indulge your holiday sweet tooth by tucking into some gingerbread men, or attend one of the master classes that will teach you about how to make beautiful, festive decorations for your tree using only your hands.



Times Talk