Tourism industry: what was and what will be...

By Vestnik Kavkaza
Tourism industry: what was and what will be...

The most popular countries to travel abroad among Russians during the May holidays were Greece, Tunisia, Vietnam, Bulgaria and the United Arab Emirates. Sochi was the leader among Russian resorts. The Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), Maya Lomidze, said that the average cost of tours abroad amounted to about €600-700, but the price of tours of such distant countries as Vietnam, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates were more expensive and started from $800 a person. It is about €50-100 lower than the average price during last year's May holidays.

"The average cost of tourist tours in Russia, regardless of sightseeing trips or trips to Sochi, even to the Black Sea coast, was about 2000-2500  rubles a person. Depending on the period of stay, the price was about 14,000-20,000 roubles a tour. The price includes accommodation, meals (usually breakfast), and transportation," Lomidze said.

The trend of the past May holidays was a reorientation from 'independent' to organized tourism in the country. "It has never happened before, and it happened due to the lower prices proposed by tour operators in comparison with the cost-effective variants for self-booking,'' the ATOR director said.

According to her, the number of tourists during the holidays in May reduced. This concerns both domestic (10%) and foreign (18%) tourism. But some areas showed a significant positive dynamic due to the absence of Turkish and Egyptian tours. The demand for tours to Greece increased by 25-30%, and, according to some operators, even by 40%. The demand for tours to Vietnam increased by 10%, in the United Arab Emirates by 10-12%, in Tunisia by 25%. If we consider each of these areas individually there is a positive trend, but the total number of tourists decreased.

The demand for Sochi in the organized segment increased by 10-15% depending on the operators and arrival dates. The demand for Crimea increased by 5%, Tatarstan increased by 8%. But the total number of tourists was lower in the country.

"The reason is very simple,'' Lomidze said. The economic situation hasn't changed, people's incomes also haven't changed, and naturally they prefer to spend more money during summer vacations. It is expected that in summer the number of tourists to foreign and Russian resorts will increase among clients of tour operators. According to analysts, the total number of consumers of tourism services of foreign tourism will reduce in comparison with the previous year by about 25%."