At the end of November, the ski season traditionally starts in the tourism market. Given the challenging logistics and relatively high prices for travel to Europe, the main demand this year is likely to be concentrated within the country. “Money” found out how much it costs tourists to travel to popular Russian ski resorts.
Alpine skiing is one of the key areas of winter recreation. According to a recent Yandex Travel survey, 38% of potential tourists go to such resorts at least once a year, and 30% go several times a season. 55% of compatriots are choosing domestic destinations for a ski holiday this year, 41% are planning to ski in foreign countries, and 4% are planning to visit resorts in the post-Soviet space.
Opportunities for trips to ski resorts abroad are now still limited, but Travelata.ru Marketing Director Oleg Kozyrev recalls that last year tour operators quite actively tried to introduce Russians to Serbian and Turkish destinations, but the price of the trip for many travelers turned out to be too high, and there was no enthusiasm in the market. Now foreign ski destinations, according to expert observations, are more popular among independent travelers. “Such tourists are more willing to obtain visas and fly with transfers to get, for example, to resorts in the Alps,” notes Mr. Kozyrev. He does not exclude that such a trip will cost significantly more than a trip to Sochi. Sletat.ru states that tourists this year are actively interested in tours to Russian ski resorts with arrivals from mid-December to the end of February.
45% of tourists, according to a Yandex Travel survey, expect to spend up to 50 thousand rubles on a trip to a ski resort, 43% are willing to spend from 50 thousand to 100 thousand rubles, and 12% are willing to spend more. True, finding budget options for almost half of respondents even within the country this year will not be so easy. According to Travelata.ru, already at the beginning of November the average price of a booked tour to Krasnaya Polyana for the winter season 2023–2024 was 83.1 thousand rubles. Over the year, this figure increased by 53% year on year. This year the location accumulates 75% of thematic demand. At Sletat.ru, the share of the direction in the sales structure is estimated at 60%, indicating a twofold increase in the average bill. The average price, according to the service, is 124.5 thousand rubles. Winter Sochi attracts guests with a variety of hotels and ski slopes of varying difficulty.
Trips to Sheregesh, which formed 16% of sales, according to Travelata.ru, cost an average of 94.8 thousand rubles, having risen in price by 6% over the year. The average bill for tourists gathered for Dombay is slightly lower – 71.6 thousand rubles. In Sletat.ru, a trip to the ski resorts of the Caucasian Mineralnye Vody is estimated on average at 95 thousand rubles. This figure increased by 95% over the year.
As an alternative, skiers planning to relax within the country can consider traveling to the Khibiny Mountains, where, in particular, the famous Bolshoy Vudyavr resort is located. The price of a room in the Tirvas sanatorium in December starts from 5 thousand rubles. per day. A direct flight from Moscow to the airport closest to the Khibiny Mountains and back on December 11–17 will cost 19 thousand rubles.
Not only ski holidays can interest tourists: Sletat.ru talks about the growing popularity of excursion tours to the Murmansk region. In winter, travelers come to the region to see the northern lights. For a night in a Murmansk hotel, tourists, according to Yandex Travel, pay an average of 4.4 thousand rubles.
The Far East can also be considered as a ski destination. For example, the Mountain Air resort operates in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk. A direct flight to the city from Moscow and back on December 11–17 will cost about 26 thousand rubles. Booking a hotel in Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk this season, according to Yandex Travel, costs users an average of 6.6 thousand rubles. A fairly popular holiday option in Kamchatka is off-piste skiing on pristine slopes. These trips often involve helicopter travel and can be expensive. Thus, on the Russia Discovery website, an eight-day thematic program “At the Peak of Adrenaline” in Kamchatka costs 295 thousand rubles.