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Apr 30, 2022
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Russians are changing their beach holiday for fishing and camping

Russians are changing their beach holiday for fishing and camping

Photo: Maxim Kiselev/TASS

Serious changes in social life in recent years have inevitably changed the view of Russians on recreation. More and more people are making a choice in favor of active and short-term, but active tourism – they go on hikes in nature.

On the eve of the May weekend, the largest retail chains and online sales platforms said that compared to April last year, the demand for various travel products increased by almost 130%. At the same time, the number of orders for tents, sleeping bags, equipment for hiking and fishing increased sharply, three to four times.

Experts link this phenomenon with a number of quite obvious factors. Firstly, the coronavirus pandemic has made the foreign resorts of Turkey, Egypt and Thailand, beloved by Russians, inaccessible for a long time. Secondly, the current rise in prices is forcing hikers to buy equipment for the future. Who doubted whether he needed boots for mountaineering, decided not to put off buying them anymore. Thirdly, according to experts, Russians are being pushed to purchase tourist goods by possible restrictions related to making payments to foreign online stores.

However, the reasons for the increase in the number of purchases of goods for tourism, as one might assume, are deeper and clearly reflect changes in public consciousness.

It is worth noting that with the removal of covid restrictions, the demand for foreign holidays last year recovered quite rapidly. To be honest, the resorts of Sochi and the Crimea are inferior to the Egyptian and Turkish ones both in terms of service level and in terms of price-quality ratio. But now foreign trips are becoming almost inaccessible due to the sanctions imposed after the start of the special operation in Ukraine. Russians are almost completely deprived of the opportunity to book foreign hotels, pay by card abroad, and the purchase of cash currency is associated with considerable difficulties. In addition, the number of flights has been reduced.

But here it is worth paying attention, first of all, to the fact that the demand is now growing for camping equipment and fishing supplies. This means that people began to focus more on short-term rest and close to home.

As for leisure time, covid restrictions played a major role here. The old stereotype “I work hard for a year – I lie on the beach for two weeks” is being replaced by a setting for short trips. It’s just that the installation itself at the subconscious level, that in order to succeed in life you need to constantly work, is becoming a thing of the past. People saw that the world does not collapse, even if any business activity is stopped for a month, and even more so if people are given extra days off. Many workers during the pandemic have completely switched to “remote work”. In a sense, the usual work week with five working days and two days off is becoming a thing of the past, many people’s schedules are becoming floating. This means that if you wish, you can add another day or two to two days off.

With more and more people moving into self-employment, the concept of paid annual leave is not so relevant. Fewer and fewer people can afford to be off work for a month or two weeks.

Another important factor is the increase in prices for transport and hotel services. Traveling within the country is becoming very expensive.

As a result, Russians, accustomed to relaxing, began to look at their free time in a completely different way. Where people used to like to arrange river rafting, wander through forests and climb mountains, people make the final choice in favor of such leisure, no longer dreaming of visiting a foreign resort or going to the Black Sea on vacation. Residents of Moscow, probably, will no longer go shopping in Europe, but on excursions along the Golden Ring and ride a bike around Moscow. And of course, now there is more motivation to visit the country house, go fishing with friends.

Independent economist, consumer market expert Andrey Eremeev believes that the main trend in the tourism segment is the reduction in the cost of recreation:

— First, you should pay attention that a lot of tourist equipment is sold via the Internet. The online sales segment is experiencing a significant increase, and this applies to very many products. The growth began during the coronavirus pandemic and continues to this day. There are a number of other factors related directly to tourism products. Prices on the Internet, due to competition, have balanced and become more or less adequate, and not prohibitive. And at the same time, targeted advertising designed for a specific consumer has improved.

“SP”: – Tourism itself has also changed.

— The same covid restrictions led to the fact that many Russians could not make tourist trips abroad, many destinations simply turned out to be closed due to the pandemic. Therefore, inspiration, as they say, had to be sought in the domestic market.
Moreover, there are many beautiful places in Russia that you can visit. And St. Petersburg, and Kamchatka, and Baikal, and Karelia, and Altai, and the Caucasus, and the Kaliningrad region … The choice is very large.

There are no problems with the availability of tourist goods. At first, the needs of the market will be covered by Chinese manufacturers. If it is impossible to receive goods from China, other countries will occupy the market, and in Russia there will be resources for domestic production.

State programs to support tourism within the country also play their role, money is allocated for this. In some places you can get cashback from vacation expenses. The Russians are actively reacting to all this, and the demand for tourist goods is growing accordingly.

“SP”: – Rest becomes more active on the one hand, and on the other – less long.

– There is such a factor that the usual lying on the beach becomes not so attractive. If we take the southern resorts of Russia, then the service there does not always reach European or Turkish. And the cost often just rolls over due to the lack of competition in the form of foreign resorts.

The structure of tourism within the country is also changing. Toward cost reduction. After all, it is worth considering the sharp rise in prices, especially after the introduction of anti-Russian sanctions by the West. And not all employers have indexed salaries. Many Russians cannot spend large amounts of money on recreation.

The number of Russians who can travel to distant regions is not so large. Therefore, there is a tendency that people are forced to deny themselves a long rest.
A considerable number of citizens are now thinking about tourism, designed for a few days and in their region, in the nearby subjects of the Russian Federation.

“SP”: – That is, it’s easier to ride a bike for one day not far from home, go on a two-day hike, rather than plan a two-week vacation at a resort.

— Quite right. People’s financial opportunities for recreation are shrinking. People will refuse to travel, making a choice in favor of trips to the country or fishing. Naturally, the market reacts to this.

The domestic tourism market will go up sharply after the stabilization of the economic situation in Russia. Perhaps the market will grow due to foreign tourists. Before the pandemic, the Chinese were actively coming. There was interest in Russia on the part of the inhabitants of Japan and other Asian countries.

In principle, tourism has great potential. But the situation in the economy and in the political sphere should still stabilize.

It is necessary to move away from the shock caused by covid restrictions. The market is currently stagnant. But with economic growth, competition in the market will also increase, and this will reduce prices and improve the quality of tourist services.

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