Russians continue to visit Spain and the Costa del Sol in great numbers and most of them stay a while and spend spend spend!
Tourists from Russia top the league of tourism average expenditure with an average of 1,499 Euros per person, considerably higher than the national average of 1,056 Euros. This amount also dwarfs that of the Germans (959 Euros) and the Brits (895 Euros).
With an eye on maintaining the popularity of the region some Russian tour operators are already adding extra flights to Iberian airports from both Moscow and St. Petersburg. According to data from AENA the number of passengers travelling to Spanish airports from Russia increased 27.3% in February, when compared to the same month in 2015.
This shows a continuation of the increase we saw in 2015 when the number of Russian passengers arriving in Málaga Airport increased 17.62% (compared to 2014) to 71,523. Other than February and November 2014, the number of airline passengers from Russia to Spain has increased every month for the last two years.
Málaga / Costa del Sol
The main source of Russian passengers arriving in Málaga Airport was Moscow accounting for 50.7% of the total, while St. Petersburg accounted for 19.2% of passengers.
The travellers specified their main reasons for visiting the Southern region were the sun and beaches, leisure activities and entertainment, culture, shopping, and gastronomy; all of which epitomise the Costa del Sol and which attract millions of tourists from all over the world year after year.
The availability of direct flights to Málaga was also mentioned as an important reason for visiting.
More than half of Russian passengers (51.3%) said they had used a travel agency to organise their visit with 15.2% of those stating that it was arranged online via a travel website.
More than 4 out of 10 Russian tourists stated that they would stay in a hotel of four or five-star rating which may account for the increased average spend.
Time and Money
The average length of stay for Russian travellers is also slightly above the national average of nine days standing at 10.4 days, with more than half of all Russian visitors to Spain stating that they would or have visited Málaga / Costa del Sol. Most popular among those visitors were Marbella, Málaga, Benalmadena, Nerja and Fuengirola all of which received positive reviews.
When visiting the Costa del Sol, Russian tourists spent almost 25% more per day then other tourists, with an average daily spend of 61.7 Euros per day compared to 48.5 Euros for tourists from other countries.
When asked to rate aspects of the Costa del Sol, the average for overall satisfaction with the region was 8.7 out of 10. Many individual aspects, including landscape, environment, quality and prices, all received averages above nine out of ten. The worst rating was for the coasts taxis which received an average satisfaction rating of 7.1 out of ten.
In line with increases in passenger numbers across Spain’s airports the number of Russians arriving in Málaga airport increased by 24% in the first two months of 2016.
There are now up to 10% more airline seats available for flights to Málaga this year compared to 2015. This is in part thanks to Russian Airline Aeroflot increasing connections to the region.