Friday, May 16, 2014

Tour operators do not expect a boom of Ukrainian tourists in Georgia

15.05.2014. Ukrainian tour operators have not confirmed assumptions about the growing interest of Ukrainian citizens to travel to Georgia, and do not see the trend of doubling of demand.

Will the flow of Ukrainian tourists grow on the coast of Georgia at the expense of the citizens of Ukraine who spent their vacation in the Crimea until the annexation of the peninsula by Russia?

"Commersant" was told by manager of "Calypso-Ukraine" Irina Gurenko that Ukrainian tourists always showed a great interest to Georgia, but a significant growth had not been observed in recent time - especially based on the situation which is now evolving in the country.

"We hope for the best. Georgia is a great alternative to the Crimea. We have different categories of tourists, and each product has its buyer. It will be very good if the prices of tourist services in Georgia decrease," - she says.

According to "Group travel" company, one cannot say that Georgia will replace the Crimea to the Ukrainian citizens, as Georgia will have to compete with such directions as Turkey and Egypt.

"There has always been interest towards Georgia, but the rest here is more expensive than in Turkey, where the All inclusive package is cheaper, especially due to lower ticket prices. So we cannot say that Georgia will be able to replace the Crimea. Although in General the interest in Georgia exists and this year there are more orders than in the past," – she notes.

The tourist season in Georgia will be opened in the end of May.

Georgia intends to attract those Ukrainian tourists who annually rested in the Crimea, - the head of the National Tourism Administration Giorgi Sigua states.

"More than 4 million domestic tourists visited the Crimea annually. For obvious reasons they are not going to rest in the Crimea this year. We plan to attract these tourists", - Sigua said at a press conference. He noted that the National Administration planned to increase the number of Ukrainian tourists in Georgia.

"Presumably in two weeks a contract with advertising agencies will be concluded, who will make grandiose campaign in Ukraine. Agreement has also been reached with Ukrainian international airlines regarding the appointment of new flights in Batumi", - Sigua adds.

According to him, 125 000 tourists from Ukraine visited Georgia in 2013.

Expert in the field of tourism Maya Sidamonidze says that Georgia has the opportunity to attract additional number of Ukrainian tourists, but for this purpose it is necessary to conduct relevant research in order to understand - what category went to the Crimea, their demand and whether Georgian coast can satisfy them etc.

Expert Nika Kvaratskhelia believes that Georgia does not have the capacity to increase the flow of tourists due to the unprepared infrastructure. Besides, in his opinion, we should not count on a very large increase in the number of tourists from Ukraine - the number in any case will grow, but the expectations are too exaggerated.

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