Ask a group of Russians where they'll be vacationing this summer and chances are they'll all give the same answer: Ukraine.
The vast nation in the heart of Eastern Europe rarely features on the travel itineraries of many Westerners.However, the latest figures from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNTWO) show that Ukraine is the 12th most popular tourist destination in the world -- with 20.7 million visitors in 2009.
According to John Kester, UNTWO manager of tourism trends, the overwhelming majority of these visitors come from Russia.These figures reflect a social legacy from when Ukraine was a part of the Soviet Union, he explained.
Most of those traveling from Russia have friends and family there. You have to remember that Ukraine, particularly along the Black Sea coast, was considered the glamorous holiday hotspot for most Soviets during the communist era.