Inbound and outbound tourism in Russia will see robust growth in the next five years, according to a new report by UK-based research firm BRICdata.

Russian tourist volumes posted an increase of 164.6 million in 2010 compared with 142.9 million in 2006, a compound annual growth rate of 3.61%.

A strong economy, rising disposable income levels and government initiatives to promote the region as an attractive tourist destination are among the factors that influenced Russia’s growth in tourist visitors, according to the report.

The top five countries from which inbound tourists originated in 2010 were Finland, Lithuania, China, Germany and Latvia; more outbound trips were to countries in the CIS region, Finland, Poland, the Baltic States and China.

The majority of Russian outbound travellers opted for sun and beach destinations such as Egypt and Turkey.

With small cities across the country witnessing a construction boom to create a better infrastructure, the report forecasts that the potential market for travel and tourism will see diversified growth in Russia during 2011-15.

Ranked among the highest travel-spending nations in the world, Russia attracted investments in infrastructure and travel segments during 2006-10, setting the tone for new business opportunities for the country’s travel industry for the next five years.

Soaring numbers of business and leisure tourist arrivals, specifically ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games and the 2018 FIFA World Cup to be hosted by Russia, will drive demand for quality accommodation in the country.

The sector will contribute 1.4% to Russia’s GDP and 1.4% of its total employment in 2011, the report revealed.

The full report ‘Travel and Tourism in Russia, Key Trends and Opportunities to 2015’ is available from BRICdata. Click here for more details.