Russians have demonstrated an increasing reluctance to travel to Europe following the imposition of Western sanctions against their country, Rossiiskaya Gazeta reported Monday.
"The sanctions regime has led the number of Russian citizens' departure to Europe to drop," Russia's Deputy Culture Minister Anna Manilova said in comments carried by Rossiiskaya Gazeta.
"We will be able to assess the size of this decline at the end of the travel season, but preliminary data suggests the drop in Russian tourism [to Europe] could reach between 15 and 30 percent in different countries."
Manilova added that southern Europe is not expected to experience a decline in Russian tourism, and could even see an increase.
Egypt, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates proved to be the three most popular tourist destinations worldwide for Russians during the first quarter of 2014, according to the Federal Agency for Tourism. Germany ranked fourth, having hosted 202,215 Russian tourists.