Maya Lomidze: 2016 will be better for the tourism industry than this year
The International Tourism Forum has taken place in Sochi on 22-27th of November. It is the main platform of this industry in Russia. More than 5000 visitors and specialists from all regions of Russia, as well as from Turkey, Great Britain, Vietnam and other countries attended the event. The director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) Maya Lomidze summed up the results of the event in an interview with a correspondent of Vestnik Kavkaza.
"The Sochi travel forum was very informative. There were a lot of participants and visitors, and their number includes travel agencies and representatives of federal mass media. We organized exploratory trips for each of these groups to Krasnaya Polyana and Sochi. They received good impressions. People liked the sights that we showed them. Now they know the product that they will sell. Representatives of mass media also understood why trips to Krasnaya Polyana are sold best of all during the New Year's holiday in our market. There is a great base of accommodation, excellent conditions for skiing. Therefore, from this point of view, the forum was very informative and interesting," she said.
"The agenda was full of content. We discussed a number of different issues: both practical and common strategical. Strategical ones related to measures of support for the market participants who develop domestic tourism. In particular, a working group meeting was held under the leadership of presidential aide Igor Levitin, who summed up the interim results of the implementation of the President's orders on the results of the Crimean State Council meeting on tourism. I liked that we could listen to practitioners at this working session and in particular ATOR Vice Presidents Ilya Umansky and Victor Topolkaraev,'' Maya Lomidze said.
"Their viewpoints were taken seriously. We are now going to consider a proposal in order to stimulate demand for domestic products. Certainly, the resorts of Krasnodar Territory first of all. Stimulation is to be implemented with the support of air transportation. Levitin told us to prepare a proposal on behalf of the Association of Tour Operators and send it to him. This is a partial subsidizing of flights, for example, at the ends of seasons. It will allow us to increase the season from three to five months. This is a very important thing. And the second point is subsidizing of charter flights. We don't have charters in our country up to now. Intourist started to carry out flights to Crimea last year for the first time in 25 years. Charter flights are more expensive within the country than flights abroad,'' the head of ATOR complained
"All of these measures were discussed and opportunities were demonstrated. The prices proposed by market participants were slightly higher than last year. But it is still affordable, in addition there are support measures that the government is going to consider. We hope that we will realize all our plans next year. So the next season will be better than in 2015," Maya Lomidze said.