Number of Business Trips Decreases
During the first three quarters of 2013 more than 42 million Russians went on trips abroad. Comparing to the similar period of 2012, their number increased by 14%, while in the recent decade — by 1.7 times. The greater part go on private trips, however, the share of tourists increases each year. While in 2004 the share of tourists amounted to 27% of the total number of trips abroad, by results of the first nine months of 2013 there were 34% more of such trips.
At the same time Russians undertake fewer business trips abroad (both in absolute terms and with respect to the number of trips with other purposes). While in 2004 there were almost 2.3 million such trips, in 2012 there were only 1.2 million, while during the first nine months of 2013 — less than 800 thousand.
Most business trips in 2013 were undertaken to China (25% of the total number), Germany (9%), and Finland (5%). In total, the share of European countries amounted to a third of all trips in 1–3 quarters of 2013. For Asian countries the share of business trips in the total number of trips was high, for example, 13% of all trips to China, 14% of trips to Republic of Korea, 9% of trips to Japan were business trips.
One should note that the first wave of the decrease was observed in 2008–2009, in next three years the number of business trips of Russian people to a number of countries continued to decrease (for example, Bulgaria, Italy, Malta, USA, Switzerland). In 2013 some of the above mentioned countries (Bulgaria, Malta) saw a growth of the number of Russian people’s business trips, while the decrease remained for others (Italy, USA, Switzerland).
At the same time since 2009 the number of trips to Israel increased every year (in January-October 2013 the growth amounted to 26% with respect to the same period of the previous year), Republic of Korea (as early as 2011 it exceeded the rate of 2007), UAE (the exception was a 5% decrease in 2011). The number of business trips to Thailand increased significantly. In 2009–2011 it remained almost on the same level (2.2–2.4 thousand trips a year), while in 2012 it grew six times; in 2013 the growth continued: during the first three quarters there were 3.4 times as many business trips to Thailand than in the same period of 2012 and 9.4 thousand trips more than in 2012, on the whole.
If one compares the directions of business trips and the structure of Russian foreign trade, business trips look less concentrated; shares of directions, with the exception of China and Germany, did not exceed 3%.
Figure 1. Ratio of directions of business trips and foreign trade partners in 1–3 quarters of 2013, %