Most tourists will spend their holidays in Russia this year. This is evidenced by both experts and data from sociological surveys. There are many reasons: sanctions, fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble, the cancellation of many international flights and a ban on the purchase of foreign currency. All this actually reduces the rest abroad to "no". Tour operators estimate that the 5 million travelers who planned to go to foreign resorts this summer after the lifting of covid restrictions will eventually spend the summer in Russia. But what about those who still decided to rest abroad?
“Our closest neighbors are available for tourism: Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Belarus. They also have a developed tourism industry, natural and historical attractions, original culture, and interesting cuisine. From far abroad, the following directions are relevant today: Turkey, Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Thailand, Maldives, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Bali in Indonesia, Serbia. Prices depend primarily on logistics: is there a direct flight, are there charter programs. Inside the country, the southern resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, the Crimea, and the Caucasian Mineral Waters are traditionally the most popular. True, a number of southern airports are still closed. But more and more tourists are going "to the south" in their cars," Sergei Shpilko, honorary president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, told NI.
It seems that transport problems will determine this season, if not all, then a lot. The main thing that tour operators now have to take into account when forming tours is the availability of aircraft and the country where you can fly. All proposals are formed mainly taking into account logistics. At the same time, it should be understood that the cost of air transportation has doubled. If earlier air tickets to Turkish Antalya cost 20 thousand round trip, now their cost is from 40 to 60 thousand. Only for flights! Old programs are canceled, new ones are surcharged. But in addition to the rise in price, there is another question with the complexity of transferring payments under sanctions. Not all banks can process payments now.
“Today, only 193 Russian aircraft can fly abroad, of which 148 are Sukhoi superjet, but the range of their flights is significantly limited. Plus, part of the flights fly not from Moscow, but from Sochi and from Mineralnye Vody. Flights that used to last 3 hours now have a duration of up to 5 hours. And we must keep in mind that not all aircraft can fly without connecting flights. Well, the prices, respectively, are already completely different, ” Dmitry Gorin, vice president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, explained to NI.
In the trend of sanatorium treatment and cognitive routes
And yet it is already possible to identify popular destinations. “Today it is Turkey, UAE, Maldives, Egypt, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan. It is worth highlighting the humanitarian ones among the directions, which are now very popular and which we support in every possible way. These are the so-called "vaccine" tours - for vaccinations that are made in other countries. So-called "card" tours have appeared - to countries where you can buy Visa and Mastercard of another country. Other trips for humanitarian purposes are also developing: to relatives, for the purpose of study, work, long-term stay in another country for personal reasons. And here such countries as Turkey and Israel are popular. Such a stay can last up to 3 months. It happens that people cannot buy tickets on the website of foreign companies, and in these cases we also come to the rescue, ” Dmitry Gorin, vice president of the Russian Union of Travel Industry, explained to NI.
But still, most of the proposals this year are related to domestic tourism. And then a completely new direction of mass demand appeared. It is associated with spa treatment. However, for many who have recovered from covid, this is more than relevant. Moreover, there are conditions for such a holiday in Russia.
“There are excellent health resorts all over Russia from Kamchatka and Primorye to the Black Sea and the Baltic. In most cases, it is not necessary to travel far. There are, for example, wonderful sanatoriums in the resort area of St. Petersburg. In Siberia, this is Belokurikha, in the Urals - Ust-Kachka, there are many excellent sanatoriums in Tatarstan and Bashkiria. In total, there are more than 430 thousand sanatorium beds in the country, and many health resorts are equipped in their profile no worse than the best hospitals, ” Sergei Shpilko, honorary president of the Russian Union of Tourism Industry, told NI.
For these May holidays, according to tour operators, many informative and financially profitable offers are associated with Moscow and St. Petersburg. For residents of other regions, these are now almost the most priority routes. A huge selection of museums, theaters, parks, excursions, and hotel prices in the absence of foreign tourists, one might say, "below the plinth". Plus the most convenient transport accessibility. There is a particularly high demand for both Russian capitals among families with schoolchildren.
Tour operators have prepared several new "chips" for teenagers this year: children's thematic camps - language, sports, tourism, theatrical, computer, military sports - which are just not there now! On average, they are not cheap, but they give impetus to the development of children's abilities, knowledge and skills that teach them to work in a team.
In recent years, another "fashionable" direction has appeared - natural and ecological tourism. “All types of adventure, ecological, sports tourism are now in trend, since there are many opportunities to visit the bosom of pristine nature in Russia: these are Kamchatka, Sakhalin, Altai, Baikal, Taimyr with its Putorana Plateau, Karelia. Last year, the North Caucasus began to "sell" better, and not only ski resorts. Dagestan is in increasing demand. And all this at very affordable prices thanks to state-subsidized tour operator charter programs,” explained Sergey Shpilko, Honorary President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry.
Fluctuations in the exchange rate of the ruble inevitably affect the cost of tours, prices are rising. The upper limit is dictated by demand. As a rule, the most comfortable hotels and rooms are sold first. And when there is not enough quality room stock, prices begin to rise. “During the high season, as a rule, there is not enough quality room stock, as a result, prices on “peak dates” begin to rise. But the main problem is the rise in prices for incoming goods and services - food, groceries, household chemicals, utilities. All this is reflected in the cost and price dynamics. Although a sharp jump is still not expected. Solvency, to put it mildly, is not growing, and the cashback program, which was extended until April 15 with the opportunity to buy tours with deadlines until the end of June, helps a lot. Plus, the children's summer cashback program, ”explains Sergey Shpilko.
Rostourism promises to establish strict control over prices this year. Last year, after the infamous inspection of the head of the Federal Tourism Agency Zarina Doguzova in Anapa hotels, unpleasant facts were revealed related to unjustified overpricing. This year, on the eve of the summer tourist season, on behalf of the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Chernyshenko , Rostourism, together with the Federal Antimonopoly Service of Russia and Rospotrebnadzor, has strengthened monitoring of prices and "cases of dishonest behavior of tourism industry entities." “Rosturizm will pay more attention to the quality of tourist services provided at the resorts and the compliance of hotels with the declared level of “stardom”, says the message of Rostourism, which is at the disposal of our editors.
As for “unfair behavior in the market”, Rostourism reminds: violators bear administrative responsibility in accordance with the law. We are talking about cases where, for example, the hotel unilaterally cancels the reservation and resells the same rooms at a higher price. Or cancels group bookings under an agreement with the tour operator and also resells at a higher price. FAS, together with Rostourism and Rospotrebnadzor, sent a letter to hoteliers and travel companies about the inadmissibility of revising the price terms of contracts for the provision of hotel services.
Recall that feedback channels are constantly working for tourists this year - social networks of the Federal Tourism Agency, hotlines of the department, as well as a specially launched project Tourismcontrol.rf , through which everyone can file a complaint. In addition, a special commission on appeals has been working in Rostourism since last year, in which complaints related to the quality of service and services in hotels are examined.
Last year, there were many complaints about the quality of Russian beaches, in particular in the Krasnodar Territory. Tourists paid attention to the pollution of sea water and beaches. What will change this year? Is it dangerous for life to go to the Black Sea resorts? Everyone decides for himself whether he will be comfortable a few hundred kilometers from the combat area. But Rostourism, just in case, called for "special attention to be paid to the cleanliness of urban resort spaces and the well-equipped beaches." Moreover, it turns out that federal grants are provided for the arrangement of beaches and tourist routes.