The UK makes up less than one per cent of trips abroad by Russians despite the launch of low-cost flights by easyJet earlier this year.
A report by Hotels.com shows that Paris was the top destination for Russians during the first half of 2013, followed by Rome and Madrid.
London was the UK’s only entrant in the top 20, moving up three places to number nine in the rankings list over the same period a year earlier.
Hotels.com president Johan Svanstrom said: “The UK is facing stiff competition from Spain, Italy and France in attracting Russian visitors.
“While these countries have expanded their share of the outbound Russian market since 2006, Great Britain has seen its share shrink. The UK now accounts for less than one per cent of all outbound visits by Russian travellers.”
He added: “New flight routes from Moscow to London and Manchester are making the UK more accessible and, as an industry, we must take advantage of this if we are to capitalise on the growing Russian market.
“Translating tourist information is a good first step but hoteliers should also consider reviewing the services they offer and make changes to attract more lucrative Russian guests.”
Russian visitors paid an average of £125 a night at UK hotels in the first half of the year – £22 more than the average paid by all hotel guests, the Russian International Travel Monitor report from Hotels.com found.
This is echoed by figures from VisitBritain, which show that Russian visitors typically spend around £1,057 when visiting the UK – nearly twice the £600 average for all visitors to the UK.
“While promising, the UK is merely scratching the surface of Russia’s rapidly-growing tourism market,” the study said.
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