Crimea: May Holidays Fall Flat for Tourism Industry
The tourism numbers for Crimea’s early May holiday season are looking grim and are shaping up as a major setback for the Kremlin.
Despite massive Kremlin subsidies and an advertising blitz to entice tourists, hotels, guest houses and sanatoria on the peninsula were less than one-third full in early May, compared with the same period in 2013.
“Only 28-30 percent of rooms [at hotels and sanatoria] are occupied, which is a drop of 2-2.5 times compared to last year,” Igor Kotlar, Deputy Minister of Resorts and Tourism of Crimea, said at a recent meeting of the peninsula’s Council of Ministers. “The number went up a little during the May holidays, but the increase was also smaller than last year.”
According to Rustem Abkadyrov, who owns a resort property in Crimea’s town of Sudak, up to 80 guests would normally stay at his property during May holidays, including tourists from Ukraine, Russia, the United States, and Poland. This year, there were only seven visitors, mostly from Russia.
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