The RED Arabian 2022 exhibition brought together companies interested in developing the tourist flow from the Middle East to Russia

The tourism business of St. Petersburg, Krasnodar region, Moscow and other regions of Russia presented its capabilities at the international online exhibition for tourism professionals from the Arab countries Russian Expo Days Arabian 2022.

The audience of the event was more than 100 representatives of travel companies from the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain, Qatar and Egypt. The exhibition, which has been organized by the media holding Profi.Travel for the second year, was supported by the Federal Tourism Agency, the Agency for Strategic Initiatives and the Russian Union of the Tourist Industry.
The RED Arabian 2022 program was divided into two blocks: on June 20-21, presentations of the tourism potential of Russian regions took place, the remaining days until June 29 were set aside for networking: participants exchanged business cards and held online meetings. 17 tour operators from the Middle East and 16 representatives of the Russian tourist industry were able to establish business contacts during the networking session.

The market of Arab countries is among the priorities for Russia: the flow of tourists from there continued to grow even during the pandemic and last year broke a record in 2019.

As Deputy Head of Rostourism Elena Lysenkova noted at the opening of RED Arabian 2022, the growth of travel to Russia from the Middle East is favored by two factors: stable air service and visa regime.

«I remind you that tourists from the UAE do not require entry documents, and Bahrain, Oman, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait are on the list of countries for which e-visa will be introduced. It has been suspended due to covid restrictions, and we are waiting for its launch in the near future», — Elena Lysenkova reported.
At the same time, according to tour operators, one of the key points that today slows down the growth of the tourist flow from the Persian Gulf countries to Russia was the departure of international payment systems, due to which tourists cannot pay with cards. And they have long considered traveling with cash unsafe. According to Elena Lysenkova, foreign tourists now have two options. «First: most tour operators offer a reciprocal payment system between Arab and Russian companies. This way you can pay in advance for most services or put money on deposit, which is then easy to spend on the territory of our country. And the second option: today a large-scale intergovernmental work is carried out so that our guests from abroad can use the card of the payment system «Mir», — she said.

St. Petersburg became a partner and one of the key exhibitors of RED Arabian: most of the companies made presentations from it. They offered many accommodation options and destinations for all-season tourism - from sightseeing and MICE programs to medical tourism and shopping.
Welcoming the participants of the exhibition, the Deputy Chairman of St. Petersburg Committee for Tourism Development Nana Gvichiya said that the Northern Capital is not just an open-air museum, as many foreigners used to perceive it, but also has a lot to offer in the sphere of gastronomic, business and even wedding tourism. These destinations, in her opinion, may be of interest to travelers from Arab countries.

«We know very well that Arabian tourists do not like to combine more than two cities in one visit, but we would very much like them to visit not only Moscow and St. Petersburg, but also other regions of Russia — Krasnodar region, Kazan, Kamchatka. The more so since Russian regions and Arab countries are now connected by a fairly large number of flights, — explained the purpose of the exhibition, the head of the holding Profi.Travel Alexei Vengin. — In addition, international exhibition companies holding exhibitions in the UAE, India and China have decided not to allow Russian exhibitors to participate this spring. In these conditions, online exhibitions such as RED become particularly important channels of communication with the Arabian market, which is very important for Russia».

In May, the organizers of RED Arabian held an open training for representatives of the Russian tourism business, where they talked about the business etiquette in negotiations and preferences of Arabian tourists in the food and services. This, according to Alexey Vengin, allowed to improve the quality of business communication between the participants of the exhibition.
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