Tourism Crucial for Post-war Revival, Rebooting Economy: Ukrainian Tourist Agencies

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With its seashores focused by Russian strikes and its inns empty or closed for the reason that begin of the conflict, Ukraine has been disadvantaged of an essential supply of earnings: tourism.

But Kyiv sees a revival of the trade as “essential” for Ukraine’s post-war reconstruction.

“Once the war is over, tourism will play a key role in letting Ukraine recover quickly and rebooting its economy,” Mariana Oleskiv, head of Ukraine’s SATD tourism improvement company, informed AFP.

And though the conflict, which started final February, seems removed from over, Ukraine is “already working” on plans to promote tourism, said Oleskiv, who is heading a Ukrainian delegation to FITUR, one of the world’s biggest tourism fairs taking place in Madrid from January 18-22.

“Of course, we don’t want to invite any tourists to come now: we don’t want them to take risks, even though in some areas of Ukraine the risk is very low,” mentioned Oleskiv who has headed the SATD since March 2020.

“But the second the nation is protected, we wish to be prepared to ask folks to return and go to,” she explained.

By then, she said, Kyiv hoped to “have enough partners to promote Ukraine” which could possibly be “an essential (vacationer) vacation spot”.

A war-battered sector

Until 2010, Ukraine counted close to 20 million foreign visitors a year, mostly coming from Russia and Eastern Europe, UN World Tourism Organization figures show, making it the eighth most-visited country in Europe.

But that figure plummeted to some 12 million in 2014 with Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula — one of the country’s top tourist regions — and subsequent support for separatist rebels in the vast eastern Donbas region.

And since Russia invaded on February 24, 2022, visitor numbers have collapsed.

“There are still domestic tourists, for instance, in the Carpathian mountains” which has develop into a refuge for these looking for to flee the “stress” and destruction of the war or the “electricity cuts due to Russian attacks”, Oleskiv mentioned.

But there are not any international vacationers — though the regular stream of worldwide delegations, journalists and NGOs passing by means of Kyiv and the western metropolis of Lviv has meant the lodge trade there “can survive kind of”, she said.

That’s not the case in places like the southern port city of Odessa, which lies close to the front line.

“It used to be a big touristic place, very dynamic” however right this moment the state of affairs is “far more tough”, Oleskiv said.

Image problem

Before the crisis, tourism accounted for 2.0 percent of Ukraine’s economy and getting the sector back on track will be far from easy, requiring major investment.

“We will need time,” admits the tourism chief, whereas insisting Ukraine had sturdy potential for attracting guests with its Black Sea seashores, its historic websites and household ski resorts.

In latest years, Kyiv has began to look in direction of new markets akin to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states because of visa waivers and new airline routes in a technique which might simply be expanded.

But with its railway community battered and its historic and cultural buildings destroyed, Ukraine must face the problem of its picture downside given its affiliation with conflict.

“It’s essential to point out the results of this conflict and of the conflict crimes that Russia has dedicated,” Oleskiv said.

And when the war is over, it will be time to start promoting another image of Ukraine, she said: “The image of a brave people, of a people that keep on fighting” regardless of the whole lot.

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(This story has not been edited by News18 employees and is revealed from a syndicated information company feed)

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