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More Russians Booking Expensive Package Tours

Demand for package tours worth more than 500,000 rubles ($7,500) among Russians has surged between 8 to 29 percent in spring this year compared with the same period last year, depending on the destination country, the Kommersant newspaper reported Monday, citing representatives of travel agencies.

Seven percent more Russians bought package tours worth more than 2 million rubles ($30,000) during this time, the sources said.

Thailand became the most popular winter destination among wealthy Russians, according to the head of the Russian Association of Tour Operators Maya Lomidze.

More tourists have also been traveling to the Dominican Republic and show growing interest in exotic destinations such as Mauritius, the Seychelles and Maldives, head of Level.Travel Dmitry Malyutin said, Kommersant reported.

Those who used to book even more expensive individual tours are now trying to save by choosing cheaper package tours, Lomidze said.

The decline in the tourism market began in 2014 amid the falling ruble and was later exacerbated by the restriction of travel to Turkey and Egypt — both popular destinations for Russian tourists.

Since 2014, Russian tour companies have lost about half of their clients, the Meduza news agency reported.

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