What’s in Store for the Destination if Crimea Joins Russia?

Adriana Smirnova, 12.03.2014 16:17
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The upcoming referendum, now slated to take place on March 16, will determine whether Crimea will become a part of Russia. Mass media reports that the State Duma is planning on reviewing a bill on facilitating the process of joining new subjects to the territory of Russia.

TRN magazine investigated the possible development prospects for the destination in case Crimea joins Russia. Experts say that siding with Russia will prove beneficial for the republic in the long run.

Russian investors will come to the region, which means that the infrastructure will be developing, new accommodation facilities will be built and the number of tourists will rise. Small and medium businesses will have more investment opportunities. Right now, investment risks are high in Crimea, so only large companies are continuing their operations here,” says Sergei Romashkin, general director of Delfin.

He also adds that the tourist flow will not immediately resume if Crimea joins Russia.

In any case, Crimea will need to use commercial and marketing strategies in order to convince tourists of the fact that it is safe to go on a holiday here. Similar anti-crisis measures that had to be implemented after a flood in Gelendzhik can now be used for Crimea. Lowering ticket prices can also help, but it will only become a viable option once the situation in the region stabilizes, because if travelers are unsure of their own safety, they will not go there no matter how low the price is,” says the expert.

Igor Velikiy, head Crimea expert in Astravel, also sees positive long-term prospects for Crimea. However, the expert says that at first the region may face a number of challenges.

If Crimea switches to the Russian currency, travel companies will have to renegotiate contracts and recalculate ticket prices. Plus, no one can predict how Ukraine will react to the peninsula joining Russia. The republic is not self-sufficient; it relies on external help in the fields of transportation, water supply and electricity. Ukraine’s cutting off of one of these arteries is bound to negatively affect the already failing summer season, not to mention the autonomy residents themselves. As for Russia, it will not be able to create the necessary infrastructure during such a short period of time. But we hope for the best, travel business needs to persevere despite the challenges of this season, and those travel companies that specialize in Crimea are going to bear the brunt of the setbacks,” says Igor Velikiy.

According to preliminary estimation, Crimea has lost about 30% of the Russian tourist flow. It the situation in the region does not stabilize, the destination will lose about 50% of tourists in the summer season.

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