- In June, Marseille and Moscow will be the subject of a direct airline, five times a week.
- The news is applauded by tourism stakeholders, the Russians being a fairly wealthy clientele.
- This clientele is already an important market on the Côte d'Azur.
From June, Moscow will be only four hours from the Phocaean city. On Tuesday, the Marseille Provence airport announced the opening of a line between
Marseille and the airport
Moscow Sheremetyevo for June 1, 2019. The service will be provided for the whole year from June 1, 2019 by the company
Russian Aeroflot, with five weekly flights. The news quickly made political and tourism stakeholders react to Marseille and its surroundings.
"This is a great opportunity to develop the use of the territory by Russian visitors less present in Provence and the Alps since the stop of the direct line operated by Air France," said the president of the region Paca Renaud Muselier in A press release.
Significant purchasing power
It was indeed a time when Marseilles and Moscow were connected by the airs. "The line was operated between 2011 and 2013, recalls Dominique Vlasto, deputy mayor of Marseille in charge of tourism. It was closed at a time when relations between France and Russia had deteriorated. We worked hard to reopen it. "
It must be said that Russian tourists are a sought after clientele with high potential, already particularly important on the French Riviera, since a train connects Moscow to Nice. Russia is the ninth largest international market in the Paca region, with more than 300,000 overnight stays each year.
"This is a clientele with a high purchasing power, Dominique Vlasto rejoices. They rent cars with drivers, go to luxury shops. They are looking for authenticity. We can totally offer them that in Marseille! "
"New perspectives towards the Asian market"
"This is great news for the business," enthuses Leslie Cherfils, General Manager of the Intercontinental Marseille, one of the city's luxury hotels. It was for us a priority market. When opened in 2013, the Russians already accounted for 5% of our market. Since then, they are only 1%. With this opening, we can hope that they represent within two years 10 to 12%. "
And to add: "The Russians love the sun and are looking for new things. However, they have seen and reviewed the Côte d'Azur and know less about Provence. And Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport is a hub opening new perspectives to the Asian market and beyond. "
A good point for skiing
The Russian clientele could irrigate well beyond the Bouches-du-Rhône, as far as the neighboring ski resorts. "The Russian has always loved skiing," says François de Canson, president of the regional tourism council Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. This clientele that will arrive in Marseille is perhaps not by the same Russian clientele as the one who has frequented the French Riviera for a long time. It is less fortunate, more family, but it remains an interesting clientele, especially outside school holidays. This allows tourism professionals to have a more regular activity. "
At the Rendez-vous en France trade show in March, the CRT will meet some one hundred Russian tour operators to prepare the next ski season. Every week, nearly 1,000 people could arrive at the Marseille airport from Moscow, according to estimates by Dominique Vlasto.