Opportunities and Challenges of Today's Business and Tourism Markets in Russia and India
We are living in a very dynamic time. Yesterday there was COVID-19 and while preparing for the challenges and opportunities regarding pandemic time, another trend has come – geopolitical and with-it new challenges and opportunities. As you know, while making our decisions, we have to consider the geopolitical context, the business environment, and all those changing waves.For example, Russian tourism in Finland was restricted recently (September 2022). As a point of comparison, in 2019, Helsinki welcomed nearly 124 thousand Russian and 100 thousand German visitors to the city. Finland has previously placed strong restrictions on Russian tourists visiting the country.
Where do Russian tourists typically go on vacation? In the first half of 2018, the top tourist destinations for Russians were: Turkey, Finland, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, China, Thailand, Estonia, Germany, UAE.As we can see, Turkey has consistently been the top destination for Russian tourists. Today, the Russian visitor market in Turkey is struggling due to sanctions. In 2022, the prolonged conflict significantly reduced the number of Russian visitors visiting Turkey.Even when the tourist season ends, the tourist downturn and associated billions of dollars in revenue losses will have a substantial impact on the economies of Turkey, Finland, and Sri Lanka, adding more bad news alongside rising inflation.
In latest news, Sri Lanka facing a damage to its tourism industry due to a decline in Russian visitors. For instance, 16% of visitors in February came from Russia, 13% from India, and 11% from the UK. Russian tourist cancellations and a lack of new reservations were noted by travel agents, who also mentioned the closing of Russian airspace as a potential factor that limited arrivals from other European nations.
As a result, Russian tourism to India may have changed.Hindustan Times reports that because India already has an e-visa system in place for Russian citizens, India is waiting on reciprocity from the Russian side for Indian citizens. Russian President advocated for a visa-free travel pact between India and Russia during a bilateral summit this year in Shanghai, a city on the Silk Road in Uzbekistan. The Russian president Vladimir Putin emphasised that the Russian people have long been very interested in India's extensive history and ancient culture andthis pact will strengthen people-to-people ties, business ties, and cultural partnership. Increased Indian tourism will improve relations between India and Russia and will also strengthen interpersonal bonds.
According to online source "Skift" from September 28, 2022, Russia looks to India to fill the tourism void. In an effort to defy western sanctions, Russia is attracting Indian tourists. St. Petersburg's tourism fell 72% during the pandemic. The desire of Indians to travel to popular Russian destinations like St. Petersburg and Moscow is now evident.The transactional concerns were being fixed and "discussed at the highest level," allowing Indians to go to St. Petersburg without any hassle. There is no threat to tourists at all, and the situation is incredibly calm despite the fighting.
The top two cities, namely Moscow and St. Petersburg, have sent tourism delegations to an ongoing trade event called OTM to onboard a large number of travel agents to sell tour packages and attract Indians.Visas are simple to obtain for Indians. Russians will now travel to India because they are unable to obtain visas for the west. Platforms like OTM would aid in the business's post-pandemic recovery. Right now, India is a big source market because China is blocked. India has a huge opportunity. The Moscow delegation is holding talks with members of the travel trade and showcasing destinations before Mumbai film producers.Information regarding new opportunities is lacking. There are collaborations with travel agencies, bloggers, journalists, and others to address this underexposure of Russian travel options in the Indian market.
Destinations such as Europe and America were struggling for Indians because that embassies were unable to process the desired number of visas. On average, Indians who visit Russia during pre-pandemic times are very few, about a lakh. In comparison, 50 lakh Indians visit the United Kingdom, while 15 lakh visit small European countries.
India had the chance to become the biggest hub for travel and tourism many years ago. However, Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong defeated it. India should return now and take over as the world's main travel hub.
More Indians might travel to Russia for a vacation and continuously discover its pristine, magnificent beauty. I also hope that Russian tourists would keep coming to India.Concerns include flight connections. There must be more nonstop flights to places like Novosibirsk and Vladivostok. The (Russian) Far East, Siberia, Kaliningrad, Zabaikalskii Krai, Ulan Ude (Baikal Lake), and other pristine, unexplored locations, they are being actively promoted by the Russians.
In light of the aforementioned factors, the economic and geopolitical situation of today shows the significance of the Russian language. There will be plenty of opportunities in India. Marketing data indicates that India's need for Russian linguists has increased at an unprecedented rate. In India, learning Russian can lead to a variety of career prospects. With Russian language skills, you can look up the most recent employment prospects on job search portals.
The need for Russian competence among employees is continual due to the ongoing expansion of Indian and Russian businesses and consultancy organisations. Because of their long-standing and friendly connection, India and Russia have a variety of prospects in engineering, science and technology, tourism, oil & gas, the defence industry, etc. There are many fields that require Russian today. The necessity for Russian-speaking translators and interpreters is obvious in the majority of Indian cities due to the expansion of industry and the opening up of the private sector.
Job opportunities in CIS countries are in a "blue ocean" market, which means these markets are blue because no one else is there to compete. For a job seeker, this type of market means that she/he is so different than everyone else. Employment prospects for Russian speakers are much higher in CIS countries than for English speakers in the UK. And one of the challenges is that rural area students do not have exposure to languages.
In conclusion, there is a chance to visit Russia without a visa. There would be an increase in Russian tourists visiting India. Russian language proficiency will open up work opportunities in India. The commercial and geopolitical environments are changing every minute, bringing with them trends, problems, and opportunities that we must monitor and take into account for our best, most successful decision-making.
Shobhit Institute of Engineering and Technology (Deemed to- be University) Meerut