Maya Lomidze: South Caucasus extremely interested in attracting Russian tourists
The South Caucasus is extremely interested in attracting Russian tourists, the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze, said, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, adding that each country has its pros and cons in terms of attracting vacationers.
In the first place, she noted that Azerbaijan is actively engaged in increasing demand for Azerbaijani tours among Russians. "Azerbaijan's representation has actively worked in Russia since 2016. They made fam tours for businessmen, organized exhibitions, which demonstrated the benefits of recreation in Azerbaijan, and it has positively affected the demand," Maya Lomidze noted.
At the same time, the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia drew attention that the total capacity of the market of the South Caucasus countries is low. "For example, in Georgia the Black Sea coast is the most popular resort region during the summer months, and it is very difficult to find a place there. There is no sea in Armenia, there are sightseeing trips, which is also suitable mainly during the summer months. Tourists can choose a rest at the seaside in Georgia or a sightseeing trip to Armenia. But Azerbaijan has both the sea, curative mud and sightseeing programs, but it is very hot in the summer, so other seasons are more popular," she explained.
Maya Lomidze added that each republic will be able use its advantages if its tour operators take any measures to reduce the cost of tickets. "Cheaper tickets is a major niche for tour operators. The first attempt has been made to promote the Gudauri resort: sales were started in the autumn, tour operator bought out blocks of seats, and the price of tickets slightly declined. That is, the experiment showed a positive result," the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia said.
"Maybe this and the next year, such programs will be implemented in both Armenia and Azerbaijan, because the interest on the part of these republics in the Russian market is huge, it's a fact," she concluded.