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No matter which country you visit on holidays now days, you are sure to see an increasing amount of Russians than you would have 10 years ago. There is an increasingly affluent middle class in Russia which has the money to travel abroad and enjoy their holidays. Not only that, but there are also a lot of Russians looking to purchase holiday property abroad as well. Some people have a stigma about the Russian and the way that they behave abroad which has become a very stereotypical point of view. Always being rude and drunk, this is a stereotype which can fit lots of different nationalities, not only Russians! So most countries who have a large tourist industry, welcome with open arms increasing numbers of tourists, no matter where they come from.
The Spanish North East
Traditionally in Spain, the most popular holiday destinations were the Canary and Balearic Islands, as well as the Southern coast. As recent as 2012 though, there has been a massive influx of Russians who are not only holidaying but looking to purchase property in the North Eastern regions of Spain which includes Barcelona. This has been a welcome boost for Spain lagging tourist industry in light of the recent hard economic times facing the majority of European countries, as well as others around the world. There was expected to be around 750,000 Russian tourists visiting Catalonia in 2012, and this is an increase of 40% on the previous year. They were expected to spend around €1.5bn which is a much needed cash injection to the local economies. In the top ten lists of countries of origin for tourists, Russia has moved up 4 places in the last couple of years and is now sixth in this table. Numbers are creeping up year after year, and Russia is a massive country with a booming and expanding middle class who are looking to go away and find the cheapest holidays to Spain that they can.
Rude and Arrogant
As previously mentioned, there is a stigma when it comes to Russian tourists, and there are a lot of people that do not like to deal with them, but in order to survive in a business which relies on tourists, people must put a brave face on things. If you visit Russia then you may get to appreciate this statement a bit more as Russia is generally a country where you will not get any apologies. If you bump into someone in the street or on the train, you will more likely get a scowl and even verbal abuse rather than an apology. Even if it is was not your fault. It is also said that the Russians can be very rude as well when they are abroad and that they tend to drink a lot as well. When there is a lot of alcohol consumed, you do tend to get a more aggressive behaviour and lack of communication as well. This can be perceived as rudeness sometimes, but when you have been drinking and there is suddenly a problem to deal with, sometimes your faculties go out of the window, and you can experience problems in communicating.
What About the Rest of Us
The stigma which follows Russian tourists may or may not be deserved. However, it can be said for a lot of nationalities when they travel abroad, and there are stereotypes and stigmas with all of them. Britain used to be well known for lager louts and trouble causing, whilst Germans used to be known for getting all of the sun loungers and deck chairs by the pool. There are rude people and trouble causers in all of the countries around the world, so it is not really fair to isolate the Russians with this stigma and prejudice. Quite often alcohol brings out the worst in people, and it does not matter where you are from. Trying going out next time you are on holiday and spotting all of the different nationalities that are loud and drunk when you are out. Stay sober yourself and look at what the locals have to deal with. Where ever you go, if there are lots of people and lots of alcohol, there will also be lots of rude, drunk and sometimes aggressive people. As far as the Spanish locals are concerned, Russian money is as good as anyone else’s and the trouble they get are all the same.
Loryli Bell is a seasoned traveller who enjoys on going long rides on trains and other forms of land transportation. She enjoys looking out at the window and seeing the different scenes change. She has had several experiences with Trans Siberian Railway Tours and she has even led some of them herself.