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How to target Russian travellers online

Nearly all segments of the Russian travel industry saw significant year on year growth in 2017. This growth has not gone ignored, and an increasing number of international travel brands are turning their attention to Russia. After all, a large and mature internet population and a steadily strengthening economy is a winning equation for the travel industry marketer!

With 109 million people, i.e. 76.1% of the population, being online, one very important way that you can reach the Russian travel market is using digital marketing. However, the platforms that Russians use to search and book holidays are very different from the ones you might be used to in the West.

This blog post explains how to target Russian travellers online, including a look at which platforms are key to success.

1. Travel platforms

When it comes to the most popular travel platforms in Russia, Booking.com is a clear leader. The platform is used by Russian travellers to search for all types of accommodation including hotels, apartments, guest houses, cottages and health resorts etc. Following Booking.com, there is a group of brands that are positioned tightly together: Airbnb, Trivago and TripAdvisor. After them, a third group follows, which consists of the following: Agoda, 101 Hotels, Ostrovok.ru, Roomguru.ru, Oktogo.ru, Ctrip and others.

2. Search engines

Yandex is the most popular search engine in Russia, with a 57% share of the search engine market. Google comes in second place, with a 39% share. Therefore, it is highly valuable to consider both search engines when targeting Russian travellers. Be aware that PPC works differently on Google and Yandex, so you cannot simply copy your campaigns from one search engine to the other.

3. Social media

VK has 60 million users in Russia, which is a 61% penetration rate amongst internet users. VK combines many features into one platform, and is used both for social networking and as a private messenger app. Odnoklassniki is different: it was created to allow people to connect with classmates and old friends and most of its users are 40 years old or older. 42% of Russian internet users report using the site. Depending on your demographic, using one or both of these social platforms will be a sure-fire way of getting your travel brand in front of your Russian target audience.

I hope this has given you a useful introduction to how to target Russian travellers online. For more in-depth information, read my free, full-length guide here. The guide covers:

  • the most popular holiday types
  • the most popular destinations
  • the impact of seasonality and regional distribution
  • the key factors that affect Russian travellers’ decisions
  • the key platforms and channels that Russian tourists use when searching and booking holidays
  • the most effective digital marketing strategies that you should use to reach Russian travellers, including search engine marketing and social media marketing
  • the importance of translation/copywriting in the Russian language
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Anna Milburn

Business Solutions Manager & Team Leader at Webcertain
Anna is passionate about building long-term strategic partnerships with clients through advising and consulting. With extensive experience in dealing with complex international digital projects, she enjoys applying her diverse skillset and identifying the best solution for global brands. Familiar with a variety of industries, including travel, education, manufacturing and technology, and a wide range of digital channels, Anna ensures that all clients’ international digital strategies are appropriately adapted to each target market. Having a strong academic background, Anna holds a degree in English & German Philology, a Business degree, and a Law degree.

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