As of January 6, 2016, 1 Russian rouble was worth US $0.013: The national currency hit the new low of 75 roubles for 1 USD. This means the amount of insurance coverage in US dollars is just over 26 thousand.
The new regulation was put in action from 28 December as a part of the new edition of the law “About basics of regulation of tourist activities in the Russian Federation”, MK.ru reported.
The travel insurance is “voluntarily compulsory”, but in fact is left to the individual’s personal choice. In case where international travelers opted to skip on an insurance certificate, they will be required to pay for their hospitalization and medical treatments out of their own pocket.
Egypt and Turkey, which were the most popular international destinations for Russian tourists until the second part of 2015, are no longer in demand.
Thailand, Israel, and Indonesia (Bali) are now among preferential spots for budget-conscious Russians, who enjoy relaxing by warm seas during the colder months of the year.
European resorts are attractive but rather pricey and thus inaccessible for the majority of Russian citizens, who lost about 38% of their personal wealth in 2014-2015.
According to industry reports, overseas tour operators in Russia have lost about 40% of their income due to the instabilities in the world and cut on trips to Turkey and Egypt, MK reports. These developments put a serious bent in the profits of international tour operators, many of which had to close down.
The country’s new measure to include the necessary level of insurance coverage for foreign travelers as a part of the industry regulatory requirements is not the biggest concern of travel agents at the moment.