Tour operator TUIRussia is tentatively planning to launch its branded family concept FUN & SUN in 42 hotels in 9 countries. For the first time such a hotel at TUI will open in May in Abkhazia. how much will the "Turkish" format of family vacations cost in this country?
As TUI Russia told Vestnik ATOR, the tour operator's plans currently envisage the launch of the FUN & SUN family concept in 42 hotels in the summer season of 2021. Of these, in Turkey - in 14 hotels, in Cyprus - in 8, in Montenegro - in 1, in Italy - 1, in Spain - 1, in Greece - 2, in the UAE - 3, in Russia - 2 and in Abkhazia - 1 .
“The implementation of these plans will be possible as the listed countries open for Russian tourists,” the press service of the company stressed.
For the first time, the TUI FUN & SUN family concept will be presented in Abkhazia. This decision of the tour operator is understandable - Abkhazia with a very high probability will be open for tourism in the summer.
The first family hotel in Abkhazia with a corporate format of family rest, "rolled out" by TUI in Turkey, will be the FUN & SUN "Zhoekvara" 3 * hotel in Gagra. The hotel is located on the first line, it has its own equipped beach and shady green area (pine and palm trees).
Geographically, the hotel is located between the old and new districts of the city of Gagra, within walking distance from the water park, city market, restaurants and shops.
The transition of the Zhoekvara 3 * hotel to the FUN & SUN concept, emphasize in TUI, will not only expand the range of services provided at the hotel, which will "raise their quality by an order of magnitude." In the hotel, the entire hotel room stock will be used for the FUN & SUN concept. It is planned to open a heated pool (starting from 10. 4. 1).
In accordance with the requirements of the concept, it is planned to open a new snack bar, where guests of the hotel can have a snack throughout the day. Despite the fact that tours to the TUI hotel will be offered with the Full Board power system, this will bring it closer to the all-inclusive system familiar to Russians in Turkey.
As a result, guests of the Abkhaz hotel TUI will receive three meals a day (buffet), snacks and drinks throughout the day, non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks of local production. There will be a children's menu and individual cooking for people with dietary restrictions.
Another feature of the hotel, reminiscent of the Turkish all-inclusive system, will be the opening of a full-fledged children's club "TUI Tukan" for children aged 4 to 12 years.
The club promises a modern design of interior spaces and a playground, new toys and interesting educational and entertainment programs. The children's club, TUI said, will work seven days a week.
Abkhazia is familiar to everyone. This western coastal region of Georgia has been targeting Russian tourists for many decades. Therefore, it is not correct to compare travels in Abkhazia with tours in other regions of Georgia (especially after the events of 1994, when the territory seceded and proclaimed itself an independent state). If you want to combine beach activities and a trip to Abkhazia, it is best to choose a vacation in Anaklia in Georgia, this young resort is located just on the border.
For more than 20 years, tourism in Abkhazia has been complicated by its controversial legal status: Russia has recognized the independence of the region, and the world community (in the majority) does not agree with sovereignty. Therefore, the eastern border of Abkhazia with the Georgian Samegrelo is not a state, but an administrative one. The fact is that the Georgian government considers the breakaway territory occupied.
Is Abkhazia Russia or Georgia?
The regional division of Abkhazia is very clear: the land stretches along the Black Sea and is perpendicularly divided into "stripes" - six districts, each of which has access to the coast.
Two western regions - Gagra and Gudauta - are traditionally considered the flagships of tourism. Why? Yes, everything is extremely simple: they are closest to the tourist mecca of Russia - Adler and Sochi. It has the most traffic and the best infrastructure, the cleanest beaches and the most picturesque caves.
The capital Sukhumi region is not so developed, but it is still of some interest. The remaining three zones - Gulripshsky, Ochamirsky and Gallsky districts - are outsiders. There is good potential for independent, "wild" tourism here, but the abundance of closed military territories spoils the whole feeling.
For many decades, Abkhazia was "sharpened" by the Soviet tourist. In fact, this has destroyed the ethnic Georgian flavor. Therefore, rest here is not much different from rest in the same Sochi or any other Black Sea resort of the Russian Federation.
The main negative factor for tourism in Abkhazia is ... the Russian tourist himself. The fact is that he is indiscriminate in rest, which is used by both travel agencies and private traders. Almost the same services, the same attitude, the same service, the same cuisine. If you want to see real Georgia, then Abkhazia will disappoint you in this regard - it has become too Russian.
This leads to a fine of 400-800 GEL and other troubles. If you have a stamp in your passport about visiting these territories, it is better not to go to Georgia with this document. If you want to visit Abkhazia or Ossetia legally, do it from the Georgian side. Get official permission and there will be no problems. Read more about this on the website of the Georgian Foreign Ministry: www. fa. ov. e
On August 1, Russia opened the border with Abkhazia. Today, tourists cross the border in cars. How things are actually going with the tourist season in Abkhazia now, we will tell you in this article.
As it turned out, the republic was not ready for such a rapid opening of borders. Abkhazia has not been severely affected by the coronavirus, but the increase in cases has recently increased.
The Ministry of Health of Abkhazia notes that the influx of tourists can put an additional burden on medical institutions. For many, the opening of the borders came as a surprise, as the phased lifting of restrictions was previously discussed.
Immediately after the opening of the border, Russians poured into Abkhazia. More than 30 thousand people came there in two days. More than 6 thousand cars and 200 buses have arrived on the territory of Abkhazia. Sightseeing buses from Sochi began operating routes as early as 2 August.
A video has even appeared on social networks showing the overcrowded border of Abkhazia. Hundreds of people were waiting in line at the checkpoint.
In fact, the flow of tourists in the early days was really very large. But gradually everything will return to normal. Bus tours will also be operated from the Krasnodar Territory.
A Moscow journalist visited the country in the first days of the opening of borders and spoke about the situation at the resort. She reports that Abkhazia is not ready to receive tourists. Outlets and cafes are just starting to open. But in a week or two it will be possible to go on vacation.
According to her, the owners of local shops and food outlets declare that they will not raise prices this season, and some, on the contrary, are ready to lower them. But, despite the queues at the border, the Sukhum highway is practically empty. And in the cities and on the beaches there are also very few people.
Tour operators now have tours to Abkhazia for New Year-2021 on sale. Market participants said how the direction was booked in the fall, and what will help Abkhazia get good sales of tours for the New Year period.
According to the information of tour operators, despite the late opening of the direction (the border with Abkhazia was opened only from August 1), the demand for tours to this country quickly recovered. So, according to the tour operator "Intourist", sales in August already corresponded to the same period last year.
“In September, sales growth against September last year amounted to 49%, in October sales exceeded the same period last year by more than two times. The demand is promoted by both the high occupancy of the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, the warm autumn and the limited choice of foreign destinations, as well as the democratic pricing policy of Abkhaz hoteliers, ”notes Intourist.
In the fall, accommodation facilities in Abkhazia worked with 90% utilization, while all popular hotels in Gagra and Pitsunda started to stop sale in September
According to experts from the Dolphin and TUI Russia tour operators, the demand for tours to Abkhazia for the velvet season has grown by 50% on an annualized basis. For example, in October, TUI Russia has booked over 1000 tourists in the direction.
Russian Express reported a more than threefold increase in demand in Abkhazia compared to last year, ICS Travel Group - about a 2-fold increase in sales in October. Tour operator "Multitour" notes that most of its clients went to the Abkhaz resorts in the velvet season.
Abkhazia is in the TOP-3 directions of autumn for the tour operator ANEX Tour and is among the five most popular destinations in October and for the National Tour Operator ALEAN: it accounts for about 10% of all sales.
According to the observations of ALEAN experts, the velvet season in Abkhazia can be called successful: accommodation facilities worked with 90% utilization, while all popular hotels in Gagra and Pitsunda started stop sale in September.
According to market participants, in the autumn and December there is no SPO in the Abkhaz direction (year-round hotels are well loaded), however, there is a seasonal decline in prices. According to ALEAN, the average price of accommodation in November is reduced by 15-20%.
As added to the ICS Travel Group, depending on the star category of the hotel, the price reduction can be up to 30%.
Tour operators told how prices have changed in hotels and boarding houses in Abkhazia for the summer season-2021, and with what benefit at the early booking stage you can book accommodation in Abkhaz resorts in the summer months.
Tour operators evaluate the progress of sales of tours to Abkhazia at the stage of early booking in different directions. So, according to the tour operator companies "Dolphin", "Multitour", "Intourist", the demand for the direction has grown.
Dolphin reported a twofold increase in sales, Multitura also announced a "noticeable increase" in demand. Intourist informed about a 67% increase in bookings, noting that, given the significant number of reservations carried over for the 2020 season, the percentage of new applications for Abkhazia for the early booking promotion will be lower.
They talk more restrainedly about the sales of the direction in TUI Russia, PAX, ANEX Tour and the National Tour Operator ALEAN. As the commercial director of the tour operator ALEAN Oksana Bulakh said, Abkhazia is still in the TOP-5 most popular destinations of the season-2021, ranking 4th after the resorts of the Krasnodar Territory, Crimea and the Caucasian Mineral Waters.
“Demand is at the level of last year, while reservations for top dates are ahead of the 2020 season, since last year the peak of early booking came just at the height of the pandemic,” the expert notes.
PAKS specialists also agree that tours to Abkhazia are being sold, but not as actively as in the resorts of Crimea and Kuban. ANEX Tour and TUI Russia reported "availability of requests and applications" for Abkhazia for the summer period.
According to the observations of tour operators, the top demand in the Abkhaz direction is traditionally high season: arrivals in July and August.
Nevertheless, TUI Russia experts note a great interest in tours to Abkhazia in May in general, and not only on May holidays, as it was in previous seasons. According to Dolphin, there are not many applications for September and later.
According to the aggregated data of market participants, most hotels in Abkhazia have increased prices by 5-10%. Some hotels (but there are few of them) left the prices for the 2020 season. As representatives of "Dolphin" note, most of all popular objects have risen in price, regardless of the resort.
The early booking campaign, which takes place with tour operators until March 31, will allow to neutralize the slight increase in prices for accommodation in Abkhazia in the summer season. Depending on the category of the object and the timing of arrival, discounts for summer accommodation at Abkhaz resorts now range from 7 to 50%.
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