Association of Tour Operators of Russia: coronavirus will results in losses worth billions of dollars for tourism industry
The world tourism market has an unprecedented situation: the history of coronavirus negatively affected all segments of the tourism industry, from children to business tourism, as well as related business, especially carriers. According to Maya Lomidze, executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), only aggregators and booking systems were in a more or less stable situation, since all the recommendations that have been accepted so far have not affected this segment of the tourism industry.
What hinders the travel industry
Rospotrebnadzor, which is competent to assess the safety for life and health of citizens of the Russian Federation in certain countries, recommended refusing trips to South Korea, Iran and Italy.
This recommendation was followed by the recommendation of the Federal Agency for Tourism, which states that travel companies are not recommended to sell travel packages in these areas and create separate travel services. The duration of this recommendation is not indicated.
“At the same time, consumers are aggressively informing about what coronavirus is. In my subjective opinion, this is not sufficiently argued, that is, it is only said that it is very scary, and why it is scary - just because it is transmitted quickly and you can get infected quickly , only because there are a certain number of deaths. These horror stories are not argued, "said Mai Lomidze.
Three categories of tourism services consumers
According to her, consumers of tourism services at the moment are divided into three main categories.
The first category listens carefully to everything that is in the information field, and does not want to go anywhere, cancels its trips booked. And this applies not only to these areas.
The second category of tourists is not afraid of anything, they say: "We all paid for the tours. You must send us." Those who say: "We are not afraid, we are ready to go, and not only in designated directions," fall into the same category. These are trips to Italy from the European part of the Russian Federation; about trips to South Korea from the Siberian and Far Eastern federal districts. As for Iran, the flow there was small even before the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The third category of tourists is waiting. "We’ll probably wait until we’re in principle, we’re not afraid to fly, but you never know. Suddenly they quarantine them there. It’s uncomfortable. We’re not afraid, but we want to rest and not think how to get out of this situation later,” - tourists say.
“It is clear that the loss of the entire tourism industry as a result of this story with coronavirus will amount to billions of dollars. This applies not only to the Russian market, this applies to the tourism industry in very many countries,” complained Lomidze.