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Ruble Drop Pushes Foreign Tourists to Book Tours from Moscow

The number of package tours including return flights from Russia booked from abroad is growing amid the weakening of the ruble, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing market players.

The demand for package tours from Russia among German citizens and residents of the Baltic states has seen three-fold growth, the newspaper reported.

Between November 2015 and February 2016, 364 package tours with flights from Moscow were sold to foreign clients, while previously there were only a few such cases, Onlinetour travel agency's spokesman Igor Blinov told the newspaper.

The people buying these tours are mainly Russian-speaking residents of the Baltic states and Germany, who also have Russian passports or visas, he said.

The interest of foreign travelers in flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg has also been registered by online reservation systems. Since December last year, the share of foreign clients has increased by 4 percent, according to data from online reservation service DaTravel.

According to Kommersant, the cost of a package tour from Russia to Thailand starts from 27,000 rubles ($350), while in Europe the price of such trip is twice as expensive.

While the demand for package tours among foreigners is rising, the number of Russian citizens traveling abroad has fallen dramatically over the ruble drop and the suspension of flights to Turkey and Egypt.

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