“Let me tell you that a return ticket to Crimea costs 7,500 roubles ($210). They are already available on the market,” Medinsky said at a meeting of the Culture Ministry’s board on Wednesday.
“It is cheaper than a charter flight to Turkey,” Medinsky said, urging tour operators to promote simple package tours like “Crimea for 7 days” or “Crimea for 10 days” similar to classical tours to Italy.
Dmitry Amunts, the deputy head of the Federal Agency for Tourism, in turn, said that they expected 3 million Russians to spend their vacation in Crimea this year. He said that about 4 million Russians, of whom 3 million were vacationers, visited Turkey annually.
“We are working in close contact with tour operators, state corporations and all carriers,” Amunts said.
An All-Russia Tourist Center, that will start working this week, will enable about 160 tour operators to receive up to 5,000 calls from potential buyers simultaneously.“In case of Crimea, any phone call from a vacationer who wants to have a rest on the peninsula can be transferred directly to a health improvement center, a holiday home or a tourism company approved by us (the Federal Agency for Tourism),” Amunts explained.
The agency has sent 157 experts and tourism companies employees to Crimea this week. They will try to adapt the conditions of Crimean holiday homes and health improvement facilities to modern requirements and make them suitable for receiving tourists.
“The challenge is serious. An average packaged tour to Turkey, Egypt and Greece, including a week of recreation, accommodation, food and air transfer, costs 31,000 roubles while a similar package to Crimea will cost 25,000 roubles,” Amunts said.