The Balearics successfully court Russian tourists

Visitor numbers from Russia are up 23.4% in 2012 over 2011 and now, for the first time, all three Balearic airports are connected to the nation.

According to recent news from Mallorca’s Hotel Association (Federacion Empresarial Hotelera de Mallorca) not only were numbers up 23.4% on the previous year with a total of 105,127 Russian visitors, but overnight stays also increased by a significant 34.1% with a higher-than-average stay of 11.6 days.   Between them, these Russian tourists spent more than 162.8 million euros on the Islands, up 19.7% on 2011.   The main reason for this upward trend is improved flight connectivity.

Daniel Chavarria Waschke, Managing Director of Balearics Sotheby’s International Realty with offices in Mallorca and Ibiza, says: “At March’s Moscow International Travel and Tourism exhibition, Russian tour operators confirmed that air capacity to the Islands would double and, for the first time, all three of our airports – Mallorca, Ibiza and Menorca – would be directly connected for the summer season.   The Balearics are outperforming other Spanish holiday destinations in terms of percentage increase of Russian tourists and the expectation is for this trend to not only continue, but to soar.”

A key driver for Russian nationals to visit the Balearics is the weather.   Bright warm sunshine is not something that Russia is known for, but these Islands have it in abundance.   What’s more they provide the culture, cuisine and architecture that discerning Russians desire.

Daniel finishes: “The Balearics are trying to inspire loyalty amongst Russian tourists and doing their best to create an upmarket travel experience.   Amongst our 26 golf courses, we have several that are world class, and the same goes for our marinas, with Philippe Starck-designed superyacht marina Port Adriano and chic Puerto Portals leading the way.   With the proposed carrot of residency for foreigners buying property with a minimum value of 160,000 euros, particularly targeted at Chinese and Russians, these tourists will surely become homeowners of the future and we’re already seeing increased traffic from both nationalities to our website, and our offices.”