Russian tourists
In 2011, the total number of Russian tourists exceeded 200,000, making Russian the biggest tourists flow generating market for Hainan.
Hainan has long been a favorite destination for holidaymakers from Russia who come to enjoy the sunshine and avoid the winter chill.

Since the first direct chartered flight from Hainan to Russian was launched in 2005, Hainan has launched direct chartered flights to 13 Russia cities so far. In 2011, the total number of Russian tourists exceeded 200,000, making Russia the biggest tourist-flow generating market for Hainan.

However, due to the economic crisis in Europe, the number o f Russian tourists visiting Hainan fell slightly this year. Statistics provided by Hainan Tourism Committee show Hainan saw 50,000 Russian tourists visiting in the first quarter of 2012, down 1.8% year on year.

According to Chen Tiejun, the deputy director of Hainan Tourism Committee, Hainan is striving to expand the Russian tourism market in 2012. A series of events have been planned to further boost cooperation between Hainan and Russia, with the hope of making new breakthroughs in expanding Russian tourism market.

In March 2012, a Sanya tourism delegation attended the Spring Tourism Exhibition which was held in Russia. Hainan will also hold a Tourism Culture Week in Russia in September this year. In December, an exchange of the tourism enterprises from Hainan and Russia will kick off in Hainan.

The lack of direct chartered flights is often thought to be the bottleneck of cooperation between Hainan and Russia. Therefore, suggestions from tourism industry call for more subsidies for chartered flights to ensure Russian tourists spend less money and time travelling on transportation. What’s more, Hainan should make fully use of the free-visa policy to strengthen Hainan’s competitiveness.

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