Less Travel for Russians This Summer

Russian daily Kommersant reports that the expected reduction in Russian outbound tourism might bring about a drop in productivity. A survey conducted by Levada Center found that 26% of the Russians plan to stay at home for their vacation, a record high percentage in this century (the only time this figure was higher was in 1997, when 31% of Russians stated they wouldn’t travel anywhere for vacation). The first interesting result of the survey is a sudden drop of respondents with plans to visit the Black Sea resorts in the Caucasus – from 12% in 2014 to 5% in 2016. Only 3% of the surveyed had plans to travel abroad for vacation (a drop from 5% in 2014), 4% planned a trip to the Crimea and 7% had other Russian cities or villages in mind. Russians were known as passive vacationers even before the money started to run out – in any given year, 20-30% of the population spent their vacation at home, and additional 20-25% relocated to their dachas.

The second interesting finding of the survey is rather bizarre – the percentage of respondents who claimed they haven’t been to the Crimea in the past 10-15 years increased from 66% to 74%. A representative of Levada Center presumed that some respondents constructed memories of their recent visits to the Crimea in the heat of the Crimean annexation frenzy. These memories seem to have evaporated since.

Head of the consulting company Dymshits and Partners Mikhail Dymshits believes it’s not only about the reduction of purchasing power: Russians have become somewhat jaded and have little desire for anything. Dymshits participated in a study funded by the Russian Institute for Socio-Economic and Political Research and found that the concerns of an average Russian citizen shifted from internal politics in the 2000s, through Ukraine and Syria in the past two years, to absolutely nothing today. According to Dymshits, this has to do with the disappearance of casinos, one of favorite pastimes in Russia. It seems that this took out the fun from other games as well, and Russians started to play less card and board games. Social life got worse, and after Turkey and Egypt became off-limits for Russian citizens, they were left with little opportunity to get away from their quotidian routines. Women over 35 seem to be particularly hit by this drop in vivacity and spend less time and money on all forms of leisure than in 2011.

For some reason, although perhaps not entirely out of context, the author notes that the sales of condoms in Russia in the first quarter of 2016 dropped by 20.5% on a yearly basis.

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