Russians' In-Resort Spending Far Outweighs that of British and German Tourists

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Research by lastminute.com show Russian holidaymakers' willingness to spend big means hoteliers are now targeting the Russian market by offering its tour operators far better deals than they do to British and German operators.

The hoteliers focus for the Russians market, mainly at the expense of German tourists, has changed the in-resort holiday experience.

Research by lastminute.com show Russian holidaymakers' willingness to spend big means hoteliers are now targeting the Russian market by offering its tour operators far better deals than they do to British and German operators.

This has led to the traditional battle between the Brits and the Germans for the sun lounges of Europe evolving into a three-way competition, with the Russians coming from nowhere to boss the beaches and pools.

Previously, all us Brits had to contend with were the Germans getting up at the crack of dawn to reserve the best sunbathing positions with their towels.

However, the Russians employ a far brasher strategy by spending more and paying hotel staff to reserve them the best beds - making them very popular with the hard working employees.

This popularity extends to hoteliers and local businesses, as Russians' in-resort spending far outweighs that of British and German tourists.

Russian holidaymakers' willingness to spend big means hoteliers are now targeting the Russian market by offering its tour operators far better deals than they do to British and German operators.

In fact marketing expenditure shows that many hoteliers have gone so far as to ditch the German market altogether having replaced them with the free-spending Russians.

The deals being offered to Russian tour operators but the resorts are so good a host of UK operators - including Thomson, Kuoni and Inghams - have already redirected considerable resources to servicing the Russian outbound tourism market.

Early indicators suggest that major UK travel brands Thomas Cook and Virgin are set to follow suit.

Another advantage of the Russian holidaymaker over their British and German counterparts for hoteliers is that they will accept lower customer service standards than the more travelled tourists.

Two decades after the fall of Communism and the Eastern Block, a strong Russian economy has bought wealth and prosperity to many of its 145 million citizens.

Previously restricted from travelling, Russians are taking advantage of their newfound freedoms by flocking to Europe's holiday hotspots.

Their favourite destinations are Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Italy, and Greece - all made popular by British holidaymakers and all in lastminute.com's top 10 summer holiday destinations.

Sales figures show that more Russians visit Turkey than any other nation with 1.5 million a year taking advantage of the cheap prices.

In many resorts Turkish resorts, the hotel cabaret is performed in Russian while nightclubs play almost exclusively Russian pop music for their growing Russian clientele.

Russia is also set to become the biggest tourism source market for Egypt and its expanding Red Sea Riviera, which includes the resorts of Sharm el Sheikh and Taba.

Around a million British and Russian tourists visit Egypt a year, however the Russian market is set to overtake the British market in 2008.

There have been widespread problems of Russian tour operators over booking their quotas in Egypt. The Egyptian Tourism Ministry has accused Russian Tour operators of flexing their muscles and expecting the hoteliers to find rooms for their customers.

According to the ETM, the number of Russian tourists to visit Egypt last September increased by a massive 45%.

lastminute.com UK Managing Director John Bevan said: "The battle for Europe's sun beds will be more intense than ever this summer as the Russians establish themselves as the most prominent outbound tourism market in Europe.

"The hoteliers focus for the Russians market, mainly at the expense of German tourists, has changed the in-resort holiday experience."

"Holidaying Brits will have to have their sun bed strategy finalised before departing if they want to come back with a tan."

Who is lastminute.com?
lastminute.com pioneered the online travel and leisure industry by offering people a 5* lifestyle for 3* prices, selling everything from hotels, flights, gifts, gig tickets, restaurants and theatre tickets all at the lastminute.

Since its birth in 1998, conceived by the vision of cutting edge entrepreneurs Brent Hoberman and Martha Lane Fox, lastminute.com has come a long way. We now operate in 13 European countries, USA and all. lastminute.com exists to help people make the most of their free time with new, creative and unexpected ideas for every single day.

In July 2005, lastminute.com and its group of companies including car hire gurus Holiday Autos and travel agents' best kept secret Medhotels.com all joined the Sabre Holdings Group.

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