MOSCOW, December 22 - RIA Novosti, Irina Nekhoroshkina. Many people associated the beginning of 2014 with hopes for an increase in tourist flows to Russia, including thanks to the Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. These aspirations have basically come true, and the country has received a resort that can compete with the world's famous counterparts.
No one would have dared to predict global cataclysms at the beginning of the year, but the situation in the country, in the world, in politics, in the economy, painfully affected tourism, because the travel and hospitality industry reacts more quickly than others to any negative phenomena ...
Experts note that the outgoing year has become a landmark for Russian tourism and forced to change its orientation from visiting to domestic.
The 2014 Winter Olympics have been eagerly awaited, hoped and worried for several years. It was very successful, but its impact on the tourism market will have to be judged much later.
Today, 24 thousand new places have been added to 27 thousand accommodation places within a radius of 50 kilometers from Sochi, which will soon increase the number of vacationers by almost 100%, and not by 30%, as it happened in 2014 year.
In addition to hotels and transport communications, new restaurants, hypermarkets, pedestrian zones, the Russian Disneyland "Sochi Park", various attractions and excursion routes have appeared in Sochi. However, the mayor believes that "the new facilities have not yet been specifically advertised, few people know about them yet. Therefore, the real potential of the Olympic zone will be understood only in 2015."
In addition to new tourist facilities, Sochi has also been enriched with modern transport infrastructure, which made it possible not only to fully use the new potential, but also to revive old opportunities. The solution to transport problems has revived the glory of the unique Russian balneological resort Matsesta, which, due to its inaccessibility, has long been vegetating on the outskirts of Greater Sochi.
In 2014, Russia received in the image of Sochi the first year-round world-class resort, where the winter ski season begins a couple of months after the end of the velvet season, and vice versa. And the sanatoriums of Matsesta and other zones of Greater Sochi are ready to receive vacationers without interruptions and looking back at the seasons.
At the beginning of 2014, the total length of the Black Sea coastline in Russia was less than 500 kilometers, and not all of these territories remained suitable for swimming and as beaches. In March, in connection with the events in Ukraine and the annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to Russia, our country gained access to an additional 750-kilometer section of the Black Sea coastline. Even though not all coastal areas in Crimea are still equipped for good recreation, the Minister of Resorts and Tourism of the Crimea, Elena Yurchenko, has already expressed hope that soon 563 kilometers of beaches will find their true owner in the person of the state.
After joining Russia, the peninsula has already received about 3.6 million tourists, and in 2015 this figure should grow by at least another million people.
Moscow. April 11th. INTERFAX. U - International tourism actually stopped by the beginning of April due to widespread quarantines, bans of many countries on the entry of tourists and air travel. But no matter how dire the situation looks now, historical experience shows that the travel industry is able to recover very quickly from crises.
So far, experts are very careful in predicting the time of tourism's exit from the collapse, since it directly depends on the lifting of restrictions, and now quarantines are not canceled, but only introduced or tightened. But they are all unanimous that after being forced to sit at home for a long time, people will want to travel even more than before.
One of the deadliest conflicts in the history of mankind, the First World War, oddly enough, gave impetus to the rapid development of tourism in the interwar era. Even before 1914, the popularity of beach recreation, water sports and skiing in the mountains gradually began to grow. And during the war, which became a time of forced displacement of huge masses of people, millions sent postcards and photographs to their families. After seeing the magical views, people wanted to see new places with their own eyes. All this led to a surge in travel, a passion for which was reinforced by the gradual introduction of paid holidays in European countries.
After another 10 years, tourism received a new impetus for development, when, due to the economic crisis in 1929, European luxury hotels began to go bankrupt, which could not adapt to changing demand. And even the wealthy public began to use cheap campgrounds for recreation. In addition, after the crisis, seaside resorts began to invite tourists in the summer season to compensate for the losses from the outflow of their traditional wealthy clientele, accustomed to spending winters in warm climates.
Each subsequent crisis has created new opportunities for tourism. For example, during the 2008 financial crisis, sales of traditional tour packages fell, but real estate sharing and other services such as Airbnb, BlaBlaCar and others began to explode, allowing consumers to travel economically.
The coronavirus tourism crisis is one of the toughest challenges for the global travel industry in decades. Here, expert opinions differ. Someone finds analogies in the events after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 in New York, and someone even says that nothing comparable in scale in international tourism has happened since the end of World War II. Obviously, this is a matter of perception, and it is obvious that the real losses from what is happening now simply cannot be estimated, since it is not known when everything will end.
While the World Tourism and Excursion Council (WTTC) claims that the loss of the global tourism industry will amount to more than $ 2 trillion. At the same time, the crisis could lead to the loss of up to 75 million jobs in the tourism sector in the world and more than a million in Russia. The head of Rostourism Zarina Doguzova estimated the number of people employed in the Russian hospitality industry at 2.5 million, which, given the virtually complete stop of tourism and related industries (hotels, restaurants, entertainment) in the country, may mean that the WTTC estimate is too conservative.
Now the situation looks terrible: three billion people around the world are sitting at home and are afraid of infection, borders are closed, visa-free regimes are canceled, planes do not fly, hotels are empty and staff are laid off. But sooner or later the pandemic will end. The world will begin to emerge from quarantines, restore ties and lift travel restrictions. What will tourism be like after that?
"Optimists say tourism will revive in the third-fourth quarter of 2020. Pessimists - that recovery will take several years. I rather agree with the pessimists, and not only because of the possibility of a new wave of the epidemic, but also because of the uneven situation with the virus in different countries, "one of the most experienced Russian experts in the field of tourism, the former head of Moscow Tourism Committee and Honorary President of the Russian Union of Travel Industry (RST) Sergei Shpilko.
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