What do Russians replace Georgia with?
The main tourist event of this season for the Russians was a ban on flights to Georgia - they have been suspended since July 8 by decree of Vladimir Putin. According to Georgian Prime Minister Mamuka Bakhtadze, these measures led to losses of about 60 million sustain by his country's tourism business in July alone.
According to the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia Maya Lomidze, previously travel companies across Russia sold tours to Georgia actively. "Package tours to Georgia were in demand. Due to the fact that the destination is closed and package tours cannot be sold, business lost [money]. An alternative is offered to tourists. Usually these are Armenia and Azerbaijan, from where they can go to Georgia on their own. Cyprus, Russia's Black Sea coast and Turkey are also in demand. But we cannot say that these destinations were booming because Georgia was closed. The growth is obvious only in Armenia and Azerbaijan - 10% compared to last year."
Summing up the preliminary results of the season, Lomidze said that the most visited by tourists destination is Krasnodar Territory: "It heads all records this year. Only in the first half of the year, which does not include the high season, more than 7 million tourists visited Krasnodar Territory. There's increase of 10% in Crimea. For the first time in the last few years, Crimea has significantly increased its share in the total flow of tourists. Now the share of Crimea is about 20-22%, compared to 10-15% last year.
They are followed by familiar and understandable directions: Turkey, Spain, Greece, Tunisia, Italy, Cyprus, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Thailand, Vietnam. There is a growing demand for almost all foreign directions with a few exceptions: demand has not increased for the Bulgarian direction, Cyprus and Greece remained at the previous year's levels. All other countries show an increase of 10%-18%. For example, Italy and Spain grew by 15% this year. This suggests that people, despite the difficult economic situation, have no intention of giving up their vacations."
Speaking about the stability and business solvency of the tourism market, Lomidze noted: "There have been no disturbing symptoms over the summer, the market is quite stable. One of the reasons is the extremely careful planning of the season by the tour operator community this spring, that is, no risky charters no programs were announced. The volume of charter services is absolutely in line with real demand."