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Asean & Global Updates
POSTED | 11:41 AM | 20-08-2014

Russian takeover of Crimea is killing tourism

The costs of Russia’s annexation of Crimea are mounting. The tourist destination is likely to get three million fewer visitors this year, about half of last year’s total.

Meanwhile, promised new investments from Russia have not materialized.

Some two million tourists have come to Crimea so far in 2014, during the peak summer tourist season, including 300,000 Ukrainians, Crimean authorities told The Kyiv Post.

The biggest drop is in Ukrainian tourists. According to the Crimean Ministry of Tourism and Resorts, last year 3.5 million Ukrainians and 1.5 million Russians visited Crimea. This year, many Ukrainians are spurning Crimean resorts for political reasons.

“I think we all feel offended by the Crimean people for the referendum and all of this,” said Mykola Tymoshenko, 30, of Dnipropetrovsk, who visited a beach in the Crimean town of Simeiz on August 9. He said he was there on a family emergency.

“I like Crimea but I would never come here for vacation now,” Tymoshenko told The Kyiv Post.

Moscow heavily encouraged Russians to vacation in Crimea this year. But visits were hampered by transport and infrastructure problems. Tourists have three ways to get to Crimea -- by plane, train or ferry.

A roundtrip plane ticket from Moscow to Simferopol costs some $390. Low-cost Dobroliot airline, launched by state-owned Aeroflot, shut down due to Western sanctions a month after it was launched.

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