400 companies from 40 Russian regions and 20 different countries
Over 10,500 trade visitors
Over 100 media representatives
34 sessions attended by 184 speakers with a staggering 1.500 delegates
This year’s OTDYKH Leisure Fair, Russia’s top tourism event, reached thousands of people and included a diverse range of international attendees.
The three-day event from Sep. 12 to Sep. 14 included the participation of 400 exhibitors from 40 Russian regions throughout 20 countries with attendance reaching over 10.500 visitors in-person and virtually.
With over 9.500 trade visitors who attended in person and 1.000 virtually, the event was a roaring success.
More than 100 media representatives from numerous platforms promoted the fair and its vendors. Media channels included Russia-1, Vesti Tourism, Rbc, NTV, BRICS TV, Together RF and TK “Friday;” as well as regional channels including Kuzbass, Katun 24, TK Yamal Media, Kuban 24, Reporter 73, TC Novy Vek, among others.
International visitors returned with a flourishing success
In spite of current challenges impacting the industry, with sanctions and closed borders, Russia is still an attractive market for many countries, as shown by the high participation of international exhibitors.
This year’s exhibition had four times as many international exhibitors than in 2022, with participants including China, India, Egypt, Cuba, Venezuela, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cyprus, Turkey, Tunisia, Ethiopia Maldives Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka Belarus, Kazakhstan Uzbekistan and more.
The exhibition also attracted notable attendees. During the opening ceremony Russia’s Minister of Economic Development Maxim Reshetnikov delivered a wonderful welcoming speech. Other notable attendees included official representatives from Egypt, Thailand, India, Venezuela, Cuba, Sri Lanka and others.
Newcomers to the fair
In addition to the returning exhibitors, the OTDYKH Leisure Fair 2023 welcomed a number of newcomers.
Some of the newcomers included Solidarity Association for Travel and Tours Agency Malaysia with eight companies that make up its membership; Enjoy Travel Group Sky; Sky High Dominicana Airline; China Tour; New Gate Ethiopia Tours; Ethiopia Tours; Island Life Holidays Maldives, and a Turkish medical group comprising 25 leading clinics in Turkey.
Countries in Asia return after short hiatus from exhibition
In a magnificent return to the fair, Thailand acted as the exhibition’s partner country. Thailand has become a popular destination for Russians. In the first eight months of 2022, the country received more than 920.000 Russian tourists, a success driven by the many existing charter and flight programmes.
India also returned to the exhibition this year after a hiatus. Representatives from India’s Ministry of Tourism and individual companies attended the event, including regional attendees like Kerala Tourism. India’s Ministry of Tourism won the award of Best National Stand.
This year was also the first year since the COVID-19 pandemic that China participated in the fair with representatives from the National Tourism Office and a large delegation. Russia and China have renewed an agreement on a visa-free travel agreement, in an effort to revive the flow of tourists between the two countries.
Additionally, the Sri Lanka Tourism Promotion Bureau attended this year’s OTDYKH 2023 with an impressive stand and 16 travel industry participants representing a range of hotels and travel companies.
Exciting news of flights from to Latin America
Latin America was well represented at the 2023 OTDYKH Leisure fair. The Venezuelan Ministry of Tourism Venetur and Conviasa, Venezuela's national flag carrier, presented their exclusive programme for visitors and announced that Venetur will open a commercial office in Moscow to promote tourism.
Other highlights include discussions about the broader reach of the Russian bank card “Mir” in Venezuela. Mir transactions are already accepted in a number of places in Venezuela.
Cuba had one of the most beautiful stand in the entire history of its participation in Russian exhibitions. This success was due to regular flights resuming from Moscow to Varadero in July.
Additionally, starting this winter, Rossiya Airlines will fly to this popular resort destination three times a week, and at the end of December Russian carriers are expected to have two flights per week to Havana. Last, charter flights are available to take tourists to Cuba on Nordwind Airlines which will fly to Varadero and Cayo Coco.
Flight programs to the African continent highlighted at OTDYKH
At OTDYKH the African continent was represented by Egypt, Tunisia and Ethiopia.
The flight program to Egypt will be busy with regular flights and charter flights from Moscow and other regions will fly to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
During the exhibition, Tunisia, a popular North African destination, presented tourism products geared towards winter. Ethiopia impressed as well, announcing new direct flights from Moscow on Ethiopian Airlines.
Mediterranean dazzled with opportunities in travel and medical tourism
Cyprus, as the third-largest and third-most populous island in the Mediterranean also had an impressive presence at the OTDYKH Leisure after a hiatus. Leading hoteliers presented their country’s abundant tourism opportunities.
Turkey was also a wonderful presence at the fair, highlighting their high-quality medical care. Due to its level of development in healthcare, Turkey is one of the ten most popular countries to visit for medical treatment. For the first time, the 25 leading clinics in Turkey presented their medical services to Russian visitors.
Business Program Highlights
This year’s business programme was a resounding success boasting 34 sessions attended by 184 speakers with a staggering 1.500 delegates.
The highlight of the program was a plenary session titled “Time of challenges: The Future of Tourism in Russia and Abroad,” the presentation of “Big Data and the Tourism Market. Technology Overview, Guidelines and Pitfalls,” as well as an annual project called “LEISURE Lab. Creative Tour Products.”
Eight Russian regions participated at the LEISURE Lab, showcasing off-season tourism opportunities. The Omsk Region was this year’s LEISURE Lab winner.
Another highlight was the large number of international exhibitors in the business program. India’s Ministry of Tourism held a round table with Russian tour operators while Cyprus, Malaysia, China, Egypt and Turkey delivered well-attended presentations about their destinations.
Sponsors and Partners at this year’s fair
Like last year’s event, this year OTDYKH Leisure featured numerous partners and sponsors. This year’s partner country was Thailand, while the Partner Region Kuzbass, and the Partner City Saint Petersburg. Official partners included MTC Travel and Russian Railways Digital Passenger Solutions.
The business programme sponsor is Travelline, and the sponsor of the event’s educational sessions was the Moscow Institute of International Relations.
After such a successful year, next year’s fair is bound to bring even more exciting exhibits, sponsors and partners. Save the date for OTDYKH Leisure 2024 which will take place on Sep. 17 to Sep. 19 at the Expocentre Fairgrounds.