The past week again tested the tourism industry and its participants for strength: the dramatic pause with the decision on Turkey ended in a tragic ending, and the intrigue with the opening of Egypt reached another intensity, but was never resolved. These and other significant events of the first days of summer 2021 are in our material.
The Russian market was left without Turkey, money and nerves
The hopes that the silence of the authorities would flow imperceptibly into the possibility of sending tourists to Turkey from June 2 were dashed the night before. In fact, at the last moment it became known that the Operations Staff had extended the suspension of flights with the republic (and at the same time with Tanzania) until June 21. By that time, many tourists had already managed to pay for PCR tests, pack their suitcases, and some of the more optimistic ones even managed to get from their region to the city of departure.
Of those directions that the Operstab gave “in return”, only Croatia is worthy of attention. But there is no need to explain to anyone that she is not a substitute for Turkey. All this severely undermined the industry’s already fragile “immunity” today.
Tour operators: “We have nothing to offer tourists instead of Turkey”
According to the tour operators interviewed by Profi.Travel, the decision of the headquarters did not leave them a single worthy alternative to Turkey.
“We have nothing to offer tourists. Taking into account the fact that the bulk of tourists – families with children who yearned for the sun – are not satisfied with excursion destinations, and Russian southern resorts are already packed, in Crimea tourists are literally settled in garages. In summer, a warm sea with decent service and a good price-quality ratio is traditionally in demand. But so far we do not see this on the market. Of what remains is either a low-quality product, or a very high price, or both, “she complained. Anna Podgornaya, general director of the tour operator Pegasus Turistik.
Thus, the extension of Turkey’s ban complicates the recovery of the industry. According to Deputy General Director of ANEX Tour Yana Muromova, most of the tours for this period are postpones from 2020, since tourists are now afraid to book a vacation in advance. And it is unlikely that it will be possible to return the money for them now. “Where can there be money for refunds if there were no new receipts due to the lack of foreign directions? Moreover, there are serious debts left by the decree of last year, which will not be able to be closed by the end of this, ”said Muromova.
Hotels in Turkey decided not to open
More than a hundred hotels in Turkey have postponed the start of the summer season due to the suspension of flights from Russia, as well as uncertainty in other key markets. In addition, 76 more completely new objects, which were supposed to meet the first guests this summer, have decided not to rush to the opening for now, although all work in them has already been completed. There are 12 such hotels in Antalya province. Nine of them are five-star, one is 4 * and two are three-star.
The most difficult situation is in the Kemer region, which was the most popular with Russian tourists. Currently, about a third of the region’s hotels have announced the postponement of the opening date.
Russian experts arrived in Egypt for airport control inspections
Another global disappointment this week is Egypt. They even got used to it somehow, but this time everything was complicated by problems with canceled tours to Turkey and encouraging statements from various officials who promised that flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh were about to fly. The first among them was the news that a group of Russian experts had arrived in Egypt for a control check of airports. The delegation of 12 people was divided into two commissions to inspect the air harbors of Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh.
“They will once again check the implementation of security measures, the operation of surveillance cameras, the procedures for screening passengers and baggage, ensuring the safety of aircraft, the procedure for entering and exiting personnel to the runway, the security situation in hotels and tourist complexes, as well as the sanitary measures taken in connection with with the pandemic of the new coronavirus, ”said the Egyptian holding company for airport management and air traffic management.
But we never found out how the commission checks ended. We hope that at least the security specialists had a good rest at the Red Sea resorts.
Rosaviatsia did not issue permits to carriers for flights to Egyptian resorts
In the meantime, everyone was waiting for the results of the inspection, documents were posted on the website of the Federal Air Transport Agency, from which it followed that airlines that asked for admissions to flights to Hurghada and Sharm el-Sheikh were refused. All at once and on all 261 routes. This caused a wave of panic on the market, however, experts quickly explained: this does not mean that the resumption of full-fledged air traffic is postponed.
“Rosaviatsia cannot agree on admissions, since air traffic has not yet been officially restored. At the same time, the validity period of the old tolerances has long expired, – said Dmitry Gorin, Chairman of the Board of Directors of Vipservice… – It is clear that the approvals will be considered immediately after the decision to resume flights, and air carriers are actually preparing for this moment, submitting requests for new permits ahead of time. At the same time, they immediately request regular flights from the maximum number of departure cities, since the parameters are not yet known, and there is a chance that regular flights will be opened in the first place ”.
Aeroflot expects to open flights with Egyptian resorts in the coming days
The fact that the full resumption of flights with Egypt is not far off, said Mikhail Poluboyarinov, General Director of Aeroflot Airlines at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF). According to him, with the help of these flights, it will be possible to at least partially replace the Turkish direction, which will remain closed at least until the end of June. “Replacing the Turkish market is quite difficult. Egypt is expecting to open in the coming days, and it may be possible to compensate a little, ”he said.
This announcement has rekindled dying hope in the travel market. Although, according to the entrepreneurs themselves, everyone is tired of hoping. It remains only to wait for what will happen in the “coming days”. In the meantime, Egypt still remains a ghost destination for Russian tourists – everyone is talking about it, but few have seen it.
What is accused of the head of the sanatorium “Knowledge” Dmitry Bogdanov
Another shock of this week, which rocked almost the entire tourism industry, was the arrest and detention for two months. to the heads of the Sochi sanatorium “Knowledge” by Dmitry Bogdanov… For most of the market participants and Dmitry’s friends, this came as a shock.
As it became known from the materials of the court session, the criminal case was opened on Friday, May 28, on the same day searches were carried out in the premises of the Znanie sanatorium, with the confiscation of computer equipment and all documentation, and Bogdanov was put on the federal wanted list. At that moment he himself was in Yalta and had no plans to hide from the investigation. The defense of Dmitry Bogdanov insisted on the same, who asked to choose a measure of restraint in the form of house arrest. However, the court concluded that the general director of Znanie could make an attempt to hide from the investigation, and chose the most severe measure of restraint.
The tourist business is collecting signatures in order to get through to justice, and the defense of the director of the sanatorium appealed against the order on his arrest. The decision is expected by June 9th. At the same time, what exactly he is accused of, according to lawyer Bogdanov, is still not clear in detail.
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