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UK tour operators warned of stiff Russian competition

UK tour operators and bed banks should ensure their summer bedstock is secure as overseas hoteliers increasingly tap into the lucrative Russian market.

The rise in the number of middle-class Russian holidaymakers, particularly in resorts such as Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, also threatens to push up hotel prices and intensify the traditional battle for the sun lounger, according to lastminute.com UK managing director John Bevan.

He said: “I’m sure we’re not the first to notice it. As an industry operators should make sure they secure their [bed] space so they don’t get pushed out. We will be doing that.”

Bevan added that Russian holidaymakers were becoming increasingly attractive to overseas hoteliers as they are prepared to spend more on their accommodation and more in resort than UK holidaymakers.

UK operators are known for bargaining hard to contract competitive accommodation prices while UK holidaymakers are traditionally high-spenders in resort.

Bevan added: “More Russians have more money to spend in resort and that can push up prices because hoteliers will start to stock better wine, for example.”

Holiday favourites for Russian holidaymakers include resorts already popular with the UK market such as Turkey, Egypt, Spain, Italy and Greece.

More Russians visit Turkey than any other nation, with 1.5 million holidaying in the destination annually. Meanwhile, this year the Russian market is set to overtake the one million Brits who visit Egypt annually, according to lastminute.com.

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