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Ctrip - Skyscanner: 600,000 football fans from 83 countries visited Russia during World Cup

Author: Vicky Karantzavelou / Date: Fri, 07/27/2018 - 11:06
© REUTERS / Carl Recine
© REUTERS / Carl Recine

The most popular Russian city for football fans to visit was Moscow, followed by St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, and Ekaterinburg respectively.

SHANGHAI - Ctrip, Asia’s largest online travel agency and the second largest in the world, announced it has published the ‘Summer 2018 Global Football Fan Travel Trends Report’, developed in partnership with Skyscanner, a leading global travel search company and a unit of Ctrip.

The report combines Skyscanner’s extensive global air ticket booking data and Ctrip’s unique insights into the behavior of Chinese travelers to provide deep analysis into global travel industry trends during the world’s most closely followed football tournament. Held every four years and hosted by Russia this year, the tournament lasted from June 14 to July 15. The report describes travel, flight and consumption preferences of fans from all over the world who went to Russia during the period, with particularly detailed data regarding Chinese football fans’ travel behavior.

According to the data from Skyscanner, the report shows that nearly 600,000 football fans from 83 countries visited Russia during the period of the tournament. The largest number of football fans came from South Korea, which accounted for 13.4% of total supporters travelling to Russia, followed by Germany (12.4%), Spain (5.2%) and Israel (5.0%).

Travelers from all over the world spent an average of 17 days in Russia during their trip. The most popular Russian city for football fans to visit was Moscow, followed by St. Petersburg, Sochi, Kazan, and Ekaterinburg respectively.

The average price for flights to Russia during the summer period between mid-June to mid-July was about £600 a ticket. The most expensive flights from were from Mexico, costing an average of almost £1,600 a ticket, followed by flights from the U.S. which cost an average of nearly £1,200. Football fans from Mexico booked their flight tickets an average of 137 days in advance, which was well in advance of the global average of 80 days. According to the report, the lowest air fares on average were for booking of 50 days in advance.

Chinese Football Fans Travelling to Russia

40,000 of the total 600,000 football fans who travelled to Russia this summer came from China, which was 10 times more than Chinese travelling the world-famous football tournament’s previous edition in Brazil four years ago. According to Ctrip’s customer profile data, Chinese travelers spent an average of 13 days in Russia during their trip and most of came from tier Chinese 1 cities, with travelers from Shanghai and Beijing comprising two thirds of all air tickets sold from China to Russia during the period.

Chinese fans who visited Russia during the period also tended to go sightseeing during their stay, visiting attractions such as the Red Square, the Winter Palace and the Kremlin, and went shopping at duty free stores.

The majority of Chinese football fans (77.2%) who travelled went alone, with 16.5% travelling with one other person. Chinese travelers also cared more on average about comfort during their flight, with 1.7% and 0.3% choosing business or first-class respectively, which is well above the global average of only 0.13%.


Vicky Karantzavelou

Co-Founder & Chief Editor

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.