Chinese Tourists To Russia Now Spending Over US$1 Billion A Year

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Chinese tourism to Russia has been growing at significant rates, as a more China-friendly infrastructure, such as national use on Union Pay, better signage and a growing nostalgia amongst the older Chinese generation for the Soviet era ties have seen just under 350,000 trips from Chinese tourists to Russia in Q1 this year.

Chinese tourists are expected to spend more than 72 billion rubles, or US$1.1 billion in Russia this year, the World Without Borders, a travel association uniting some 200 companies working with the Chinese tourism market, said yesterday.

Their forecast is based on the Russian Central Bank’s official statistics for the first quarter of 2019. According to the Central Bank, Chinese citizens spent US$264 million in Russia in January-March 2019 to outstrip other nations in terms of spending in Russia.

“Preliminary estimates of the World Without Borders’ experts indicate that the number of tourism trips from China to Russia may reach 1.5 million pax. So, the overall volume of spending will be at least US$1.1 billion or even more as tourists typically spend more money in the high season.” the report said.

The tourist flow from China to Russia went up by 24.5% in the first six months of 2019 on the same period last year, while the most popular cities are Moscow and St. Petersburg, where the aggregate growth was 43%.

‘This trend will have a knock-on effect on the ability for Russian manufacturers to export certain products to China’ says Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates ‘The Chinese are heavily influenced by foreign cultures and in consumer terms especially by the West. Each Chinese tourist should be seen as an export opportunity and especially in traditional foodstuffs and consumables. Getting products to retail outlets in China is now relatively simple.’

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Russia Briefing is written by Dezan Shira & Associates. The firm assist Russian businesses invest in China and Asia and has offices throughout the region. For assistance with the China market, please email Maria Kotova at or visit us at