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Chinese tourists put Russia in top three most popular European travel destinations

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China’s largest travel company, Ctrip, says that Russia was in the top three (after the United Kingdom and France) most popular European travel destinations for Chinese tourists in 2018.

The number of Chinese travelers visiting Russian Federation increased significantly last year, with Ctrip, organizing tours for over 130,000 people.

Chinese tourists were also showing increased interest in new routes in Russia, according to Ctrip.

“In 2019, in addition to Moscow and St. Petersburg, we are planning to develop and offer tourist packages to other cities… We know there are a lot of beautiful places in Russia..,” said Ctrip’s senior sales manager.

She detailed that the company was considering Kazan, Sochi, and Baikal to their traditional trips this year.

Ctrip was also actively organizing tourist groups to Murmansk (a city in northwestern Russia, at the end of a deep bay off the Barents Sea) for those who want to admire the northern lights. The destination is very popular among Chinese tourists and is significantly cheaper than, for example, a trip to the Nordic countries, said the travel agency.

In 2017, nearly 1.8 million Chinese citizens traveled to Russia, including 1.1 million tourists, according to data provided by the Russian Association of Tour Operators.