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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russians Traveling About 25% Less

Russians traveled abroad 22.6 percent less in the first half of the year, compared with the same period of 2008, Irina Tyurina, a spokeswoman for the Russian Tourism Industry Union, said Thursday.

Trips to China showed the biggest drop, with 59 percent fewer Russians traveling there because of tougher customs procedures, she said. “Many people used to take cheap trips to China to import consumer goods,” Tyurina said.

Ukraine saw 48 percent fewer Russian vistors because of “expensive transportation, unreasonably high prices for accommodation, poor service and political friction between the two countries,” she said.

The country’s Crimean coast was long favored as a low-cost vacation destination, although it has been eclipsed in recent years by Turkey and Egypt. They both also posted declines.

Among other major losers was Lithuania, which stopped issuing Russians multiple-entry European Union visas, she said. The number of travelers to Israel increased by 36 percent, however, after the country adopted a visa-free travel regime with Russia.