Quest for Tourists

Quest for Tourists

Photo: http://atorus.ru

The authorities of the Krasnodar Territory and Crimea have started summarizing the interim results of the tourist season, which is under a ban on flights to the south of Russia. According to official data, the hotel occupancy of the Crimean resorts is about 50%, and the holiday season seems to have failed.

Three Days Instead of Three Hours

Russians are not happy with the fact that they have to spend an average of two to three days on the way to the Crimea by train or by automobile instead of 2-5 hours by plane before. Meanwhile, tour operators sell only accommodation, so you have to pick up transport yourself.

Getting to the beaches of Crimea is the most difficult for the tourists. It takes about 30 hours and more to get there by bus from Moscow and from two days by train. Some people try to get from Krasnodar and Rostov with changing trains because of the lack of railway tickets, but it is also quite long and tiring. People have been complaining for months about the fact that there are no tickets, so it is practically impossible to go to the south by train.

Driving a car means expensive fuel, bad roads, serpentine, ubiquitous summer traffic jams, busy and toll roads, problems with parking, constant worry about the car, attachment to it, well, and just an additional load to the driver on the way, when you do not have a good rest. Nevertheless, many people still prefer to travel by car.

People are Afraid to go to Crimea

Anatoly Spirin, author of the kaktovottak Telegram channel, points out that the tourism industry is not at the forefront of officials' minds right now. The lack of air service which is the main problem has not been fixed even after the meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Many Russians are simply afraid to go to Crimea. People are frightened by threats of a possible missile attack by the AFU and, most importantly, they fear a strike on the Crimean bridge, which is virtually the only transportation artery connecting with the mainland. After all, under such a scenario, hundreds of thousands of people would instantly be trapped on Crimean territory.

Spirin believes that it will become clear to everyone soon that things in the tourism sector are much worse than officials are presenting now, especially against the background of overcrowded Sochi, but empty other tourist cities, where businesses are now complaining about the lack of tourists.

Shock Price

In addition to the inconvenient road to rest, prices in the resort towns were an unpleasant surprise for holidaymakers. As noted by experts, our tourists are not very fond of the south of Russia as a vacation destination, because they have seen the prices and quality of rest in Turkey and Egypt, where the level of service is completely different.

According to the expert of the Tontkosti Tourisma portal Ilya Karpovich, Russian tourists who have traditionally vacationed on the coast of Krasnodar and Crimea say unanimously that this year the prices for most services are overvalued. For example, the cost per chair on the beaches of Adler is about 700 rubles ($11.61), and in some places even higher.

“I thought I was going to have a nice vacation, but I ended up in a real hell on earth. Crowds of people in the market, on the beach, on the streets, and in restaurants, everything is unreasonably expensive, rudeness everywhere, no service, bad food and crappy wine. You cannot drive normally on a tour, because traffic jams are everywhere. I'd rather stay at my dacha,” a tourist from Nizhny Novgorod, vacationing in Sochi, wrote in social networks.

Prices in cafes and restaurants jumped upwards. At the same time, the food has not become better. The number of hotels and hostels increased, but despite the competition, the rent of rooms did not become lower, but increased.

Spoiled Vacation

This year, due to the large influx of tourists on the Black Sea coast of the Krasnodar Territory, vacationers began to suffer from intestinal infections en masse. Escherichia coli in the summer season became a real epidemic. Usually by early August all local hospitals, which are not designed for large numbers of patients, are pack to capacity, and people with fever of over 40 and severe vomiting are offered self-treatment.

“We came to Lazarevskoye in late June with our four- and seven-year-old children, and it was already very crowded for that time,” said Natalia from St. Petersburg. “Two days later the girls started vomiting and had a fever. It didn't look like food poisoning. We stayed in a good hotel, and I was fine. But I tried to swim with my mouth closed, and the kids can't do that. So, probably, the problem is in the sea water again. Now we cannot go to the sea, the only thing left is to swim in the pool.

For many years, the authorities of Sochi promise to solve the problem of sewage discharge into the sea, to make some treatment facilities, but every year it only gets worse and worse. At the same time, every year they don't forget to raise the prices for everything. We paid 25% more for the hotel than last year.”

Luminous Feat of Generosity

Russian authorities claim that holidays in Crimea are safe and beautiful. As part of the We are Together program from Rostourism and the Tourism and hospitality industry national project there are all sorts of discounts and special offers.

For example, up to 35% discount for residents of Southern Federal District and auto-travelers. There is also early “promotional” booking for August and September. In addition, there are free transfers from the place of arrival to the hotel, early check-in and late check-out offers, extra days and excursions as a gift, accommodation at the price of food, etc.

Resorts are luring guests with additional wellness programs. Tourists are now being offered a mileage allowance, a never-before-seen refund of some of the money spent on travel. In addition, management companies offer discounts on the way in their chain hotels, up to free accommodation.

Unhappy Bottom Line

According to head of the commission of the Russian Union of Travel Industry on domestic tourism and CDO of the Alean tour operator Ilya Umansky, the occupancy rate of hotels dropped by 31% in Anapa, by 12% in Tuapse, and by 8% in Gelendzhik.

According to the most optimistic calculations the flow of tourists to the Crimea fell by 40% comparing to the same period last year. Such figures have to be confirmed by the head of the Republic of Crimea Sergey Aksyonov. According to him, one of the leading resort regions of the country is experiencing an unprecedented shortage of tourists, which even according to official statistics is almost twice less than usual.

No Need to Hang Losses on State Which is More Important: Diploma or Hands-on Experience?