The Hainan Tourism Development Commission will organize Hainan tourism cultural weeks in major cities in Russia in September to expand the Russian tourism market.

With the launch of the first direct chartered flights between Hainan and Russia in 2005, there have been direct chartered flights to 13 Russian 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 of 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, apart from introducing Hainan’s cultural features and tourism potential, the organizers will hold a series of events like a tourism photography exhibition and Hainan cultural performances with a view to further expanding the Russian tourism market in 2012.