The volume of outbound tourism halved to the benefit of the Carpathians

The volume of outbound tourism halved to the benefit of the Carpathians
Photo: Reuters

Today is the last day of the 2014 summer season of outbound tourism. Despite traditions, the players failed to reap high profits: the outbound flow of tourists fell by nearly half this past summer season. “Ukraine lost 40-50% of outbound tourists. This is for certain. These figures may be even higher,” President of the Association of Leaders of the Tourism Business of Ukraine (ALTBU) Oleksandr Novykovskiy told Capital. Director of the Controlled Distribution of TUI Ukraine Taras Demura agrees. During this summer season, 1.5 mn people traveled abroad for vacation, according to his data.

The most affected

Vice President of Outbound Tourism at ALTBU and Commercial Director of Tez Tour Ukraine Arkadiy Maslov attributes the gloomy indicators of the season to the conflict in the east of Ukraine and currency upsurges. “The fluctuations of the currency exchange rates are an omen for tourism as people begin to doubt whether they should purchase a travel package today or wait for another day. What if tomorrow it will be cheaper or more expensive?” he says.

All popular summer destinations suffered, complains Commercial Director of Natalie Tours Ivanna Chuchman. “The demand is not determined by a country, but by the level of income of people and their expectations of a panic,” says co-owner of the Bronnikova Tour Agency Rodion Bronnikov.

The cost-cutting trend, however, affected the euro zone countries and remote destinations most. Maslov points out that the EU has no reverent attitude towards tourists from Ukraine: no special offers or discounts, unlike the practice that has been adopted in Turkey.

As for long-distance travels, the hryvnia devaluation is the main negative factor. “All tourists that earlier purchased tours to Mexico, Cuba, Vietnam and other countries are now looking for a closer and cheaper destination… If you look at the prices in hryvnia, this year Egypt costs as much as a tour to Cuba last year,” explains Director of the Kyiv travel agency Hot Tours Oleksandr Kovalchuk.

To the benefit of Carpathians

In 2014, outbound tourism will drop by 35% compared to last year, predicts Maslov. Deputy Commercial Director of News Travel Vadym Chertkov expects that next winter Ukrainians will mostly travel for vacation to Egypt. Thanks to the cheap offers, the share of vacationers to this country will increase from 50% to 70%.

At that, United Arab Emirates and long-distance destinations will suffer, presumes the expert. He says his forecast is based on the fact that hotels in the UAE raised their prices by 10-15%, while their Egyptian colleagues did not. Also, the reduction of the number of flights will contribute to the situation. Last winter, there were around 60 flights to the UAE from Ukraine and 50 to Egypt, while in the coming winter the number of flights to the UAE will decrease to around 22 and flights to Egypt will increase to 52 per week.

In 2013, organized outbound tourism totaled 2 mn people, according to experts.

Ukrainians will partially reorient themselves towards domestic tours, concluded the experts interviewed by Capital. For instance, Novykovskiy estimated that the flow of Ukrainians to Carpathians in 2014 will increase to around 2 mn people versus 1.5 mn last year.

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