Russian travelers stay longest, spend most
One of the strongest sectors in the local tourism market for the past year has been Russian visitors. Russian tourism is making a boom in the local economy as they stay longer and spend more than most American visitors.
Eduardo Paniagua Morales, director of the National Confederation of Tourism online, says that while Americans continue to make up the largest total amount of visitors to Cancun and the Riviera Maya each year, Russian visitors are not far behind. He says Russian tourists tend to stay longer and spend more money during their visits than the average American tourist.
“The average stay of an American tourist is four to five days while the Russian tourists stay up to 10 days. The Russian economy is greater than that of an American, because it is affluent,” he said.
He also says, “Before 2009, the Russian segment was asleep. We barely received 600,000 tourists, but in 2010 it began to increase.” Paniagua Morales added that, “One of the main problems was the cancellation of the visa, as with the Cubans,” he said.
He also made note of the crisis in that country during 2014, with the devaluation of the currency (ruble). It was a problem that began last year, which caused them to stop pleasure travel.
Direct flights to Cancun are also a determining factor for travelers who arrive from the far corners of the world such as Russia. Tourism officials are expecting to see more Russian visitors to the area beginning November, when it gets cold there. The autumn and winter months are their preferred months to travel to Cancun and the Riviera Maya.