Tour operators scrape up Russia

Their programs have declined because of low demand.
Reducing the interest of organized tourists to Russia is forcing tour operators and hoteliers to adjust the declared prices and sales volumes. According to market participants, up to 30% of tours to domestic resorts are now sold at cost, and the total supply volume for the season will be reduced by 20%.

The continued sharp decline in demand for domestic destinations forced tour operators to adjust their summer programs. As the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia Maya Lomidze told "Kommersant", on average, large market participants realize 20% less tours this year in the internal directions than a year ago. According to the representative of the company "Biblio-globus" Igor Antonov, many tour operators have already decided to reduce or completely curtail their programs in Russia against the backdrop of low demand. "But in our case, it's only about lowering the cost price: there are hotels in the company's management, we will fill them in any case," he explains. The TUI explained to Kommersant that the company does not plan to reduce the share of domestic tours in the overall structure of the proposal, but it can go about "balancing directions."

The general director of the tour operator "Dolphin" Sergey Romashkin indicates that on average the demand for Russian resorts this year fell by 25%. According to him, now 70% of the packages from the summer program are realized, a year earlier it happened a month earlier. "Initially, we associated the fall with bad weather, but now it is obvious that we are talking about economic factors: maybe some tourists decided this year to refrain from summer rest in principle," argues Mr. Romashkin. According to him, low demand significantly adjusted prices: 20-30% of tours are now sold at cost. "In some cases, we have to cut prices at our own expense of 15-20%, which we receive from hotels," explains Mr. Romashkin. He also drew attention to the appearance on the market of the first cases of dumping, which used to be characteristic only of the exit segment.

Decrease in prices are noted by other market participants. Director of Sales, NTK Intourist Sergei Tolchin says that since the beginning of summer, the cost of accommodation in some hotels has decreased by 10-30%. "Before the season, hotels offered prices 10-15% higher than last year, now it has completely come to nothing, in some cases we note a fall already in comparison with last season," he explains. Mr. Tolchin calls this process natural: the market balances tariffs that were previously overstated. Igor Antonov links the fall in prices for domestic tours with the return to the mass market of Turkey. "By subsidizing the flights by local authorities, the cost of the trip was initially significantly lower than on the domestic routes," he explains.

The tendency to lower prices is confirmed by travel agents. According to calculations by co-founder Level.Travel Ellina Tolstova, for the year the average check for the purchase of domestic tours decreased by 30%, to 31 thousand rubles. Interest in Russia has been steadily declining all summer: if in the beginning of June the country accounted for 24% of the company's sales, by mid-July this figure fell to 13%. According to the information of the booking center for the integrated network TBG and "Hot tours", for the year the share of Russia in the sales structure decreased from 20% to 10%. Similar figures for the share of the direction decreased from 22% to 12%, the average check - by 20%, to 41,4 thousand rubles.

The sharp increase in interest in organized tours across Russia began in the second half of 2014 and reached its peak in 2015-2016: it was during this period that many players who had previously worked only with foreign destinations started selling tours inside the country. But from the end of 2016 the situation began to change rapidly - tour operators fixed gradually reducing the dynamics of sales, hoping to increase volumes to the latter in the second half of the summer. Although this did not happen, Maya Lomidze does not expect a massive outflow of large companies from this market, noting that "the segment has formed, the question is only in sales volumes."