Just about two weeks ago, Crimea opened up to tourists from other Russian regions and the occupancy rate of hotels has already reached 95-100%, according to the Minister of Tourism of Crimea, Vadim Volchenko.
Experts say that Crimea’s tourism resorts are currently in high demand, especially the most expensive ones. Budget hotels, on the other hand, still have some rooms left.
No Super Profits or Records
However, this tourist rush does not signify a record of tourist flow or super-profits in the sector. Given the average occupancy, an increase of only 5-7% compared to a year ago in the same months is expected.
However, this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt, given the lack of tourists in May and June (which is the busiest month for Crimean resorts). With the aforementioned modest increase and the absence of tourists because of the lockdown, the overall numbers amount to a decrease of 20%.
In this context, there is small hope of extending the holiday season to September. However, this very much depends on two factors. Firstly, on the weather, which is now quite uncertain.
Secondly, on whether or not the second wave of the coronavirus will happen, which many expect right at the beginning of autumn. At the moment, there are very few bookings for September and sales are limited until mid-August.
Overall Decrease and Lack of Infrastructure
Last year, according to local authorities, 7.4 million tourists (+ 9.3% over 2018) visited Crimea, setting a new post-Soviet record.
Crimea’s tourism experts suggest that in the current conditions the peninsula can welcome about 8 million tourists a year and if there are more, the quality of service will suffer greatly. Moreover, they feel that there is a great necessity for the improvement of infrastructure: roads, accommodation facilities, parking, beaches and more.
This year, as mentioned, the tourist flow will certainly decrease. However, the fall may not be as dramatic as in other holiday destinations. The head of the Republic Sergey Aksenov predicts a decrease of 10-15% due to the restrictive measures caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Thus, the official forecast for visitor numbers in 2020 is 6.3-6.6 million holidaymakers on the peninsula.