European tourism industry hits hard by Russian economic crisis

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

winter tours

Finnish tourism industry is feeling the Russian economic crisis; as the depreciating Russian rouble, Russian tourists decide on staycations to avoid expensive trips abroad.

The Finnish Hospitality Association MaRa said that the Finnish tourism sector will lose tens of millions of euros during the current season. As a result of the weak rouble and related rise in inflation, the number of visitors from across the eastern border has collapsed compared to previous years.

“At the moment the forecast if for up to 40 percent fewer visitors this season compared to one year ago. If we consider individual hotels we’re probably talking about more than 50 percent,” said MaRa chief executive Timo Lappi.

Turkey’s leading tourism destination that is loved by Russian tourists; Antalya is likely to feel the effects of the Russian economic crisis as well.

Antalya welcomes 12 million tourists every year, of which Russian arrivals constitute 3.5 million. According to the Turkish Association of Travel Agents (TÜRSAB), each Russian tourist spends on average $571 in Turkey, generating $2 billion in revenue for Antalya alone and around $7 billion for the country as a whole. However, a recent announcement by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism which shows an 18.45 percent decline in Russian arrivals to the country in November underpins statements from tourism sector representatives earlier this year, who had been saying that the number of Russian holidaymakers in Turkey decreased by 35 percent year-on-year in October and November. Although some claim the decline in Russian arrivals to Turkey after September is a characteristic of the tourism industry in the country due to unfavorable weather conditions during this time period, the deputy chairman of Russia's Association of Tour Operators (ATOR), Maya Lomidze, said last week that the number of Russians traveling abroad has slumped by around 40-50 percent compared to last year, implying a wider problem regarding Russia's tourism spending this year.

Normally, Russian tourists flock to Egypt after the summer season in Turkey, however, sector representatives report that there has also been a 50 percent decline in Egypt-bound Russian tourists this year.

Sources: Yle, Today’s Zaman



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