Due to the lack of air travel, Crimea loses up to 25% of vacationers
“As soon as they start discussing any threat, a couple of armors are removed”
Soon it's time for vacations, and the Russians are already starting to book tours with might and main. Due to well-known events and the lack of air traffic, no one is in a hurry to Crimea now. "MK" found out from the representatives of the tourist industry of the peninsula and the Crimeans, what is their situation, and how did the conditions of the new reality affect the flow of tourists?
Despite widespread information about the lack of desire among Russians to go to Crimea, in January 2023, the head of the Republic, Sergei Aksyonov, announced that “by the end of 2022, Crimea retained its place in the top five of the annual national tourism rating.”
However, the Minister of Crimean Resorts Vadim Volchenko recently reported "the still low level of bookings in the hotels and resorts of the peninsula." According to him, this is due to the fact that tourists began to book holidays closer to the vacation date, 10-14 days before the arrival date. To secure early bookings, Crimean accommodation facilities are now offering big discounts to guests of the peninsula. The minister assured that “booking a summer vacation in Crimea is now more profitable than last year, and more affordable compared to other regions,” as hotels and resorts “offer all kinds of loyalty programs, as well as promotional offers with discounts up to 30%.”
And here is a very fresh example from Sergey Aksyonov’s telegram channel dated March 16, which obviously will not add to the number of people wishing to go to Crimea: “Today, an APU drone was shot down by air defense forces in the Saki region. The situation is under control, Crimea is under the reliable protection of our Armed Forces.”
"MK" talked with representatives of the tourist industry in the Crimea, and they assured that the current crisis has even benefited their tourism industry: in order to attract tourists in such difficult conditions, they willy-nilly have to raise the level of service.
We asked Vera Korchilava, Deputy General Director of Krymtour, questions about the situation in Crimea.
- In your opinion, what proportion of tourists is lost due to the lack of air traffic?
– Given the length of the territory of our country, of course, it has become more difficult for tourists to get from distant regions, but these difficulties do not frighten true fans of the Crimean nature. At first, when air flights were just canceled, and people have not yet found alternative ways for themselves, we can say that about 40% of the tourist flow collapsed immediately. Today, this loss is about 20-25%. I can note that this has had a greater impact on the situation with hotels of 4 stars and above, since their clients are more interested in flying to their vacation destination as comfortably as possible by plane. And if this is a family vacation, if people go on vacation with several children or elderly family members, then it is much cheaper for them to come to Crimea by car.
– What can you say about the changes in the booking?
– Early bookings are in full swing, and I can say that they are booking twice as much as in March last year. Our partners provide a refund in case of no-show. In which case we postpone the deadline or refund the money. No one is interested in ruining their reputation.
I can assure you that the current situation on the participants of the Crimean tourism market has had a beneficial effect to some extent. To interest the guest, you need to increase the level of service. We want to provide maximum comfort for those who still come to us, despite the difficulties with logistics and security concerns.
Polina Zhidetskaya, who rents a guest house in the village of Saki district, shared her information with MK:
– The trend for booking rooms for the summer remains at the level of last year. The influence of information in the media on the desire of people to go to Crimea is very felt. As soon as something about the threat to the Crimea begins to be discussed, a couple of armors are immediately removed. But there are many who, in spite of everything, book, make an advance payment and are determined to go. In general, Crimea is actively preparing for the holiday season. New facilities are being reconstructed and built - beaches, embankments, parks.
Andrei from Syktyvkar shared his opinion with MK: “This year we will go to Abkhazia again. True, prices there have risen in two years, alas. In 2021, a "kopeck piece" in Abkhazia cost 2,500 rubles. per day, and this year the same apartment - already 4000 rubles. I would like to Crimea, of course. But with this situation, I'm afraid, still close to the war zone.