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Decline on Mediterranean holiday destinations seen in Russia amid sanctions

June 24, 2014, 17:42 UTC+3 MOSCOW
In addition, political instability in Thailand has played its role, making the country 10% less popular than last year
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© AP Photo/Petros Karadjias

MOSCOW, June 24. /ITAR-TASS/. Russian nationals are less eager at the moment to head for Mediterranean resorts following sanctions imposed on Russia because of Ukraine, the executive director of the agency uniting biggest tour operators of Russia told a news conference on Tuesday.

“The demand has shifted significantly from European to other destinations, including to Russia,” said the head of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, Maya Lomidze. “A lot of tourists have taken the word ‘sanctions’ personally, thinking they could have problems with visas,” she explained. “According to early estimates by our analysts, the demand for popular Mediterranean destinations has declined by at least 18 to 25%,” Lomidze said, adding that the demand was even lower than forecasted amid a rise in the dollar and euro.

“We had a host of telephone calls on that matter. We as well as embassies tried to allay fears as groundless, but official letters had a slight effect on a decline in demand,” she admitted. Meanwhile, popular visa-free destinations, such as Turkey and Egypt, have profited from the situation, also because they give the price of tour packages in dollars and not in euro.

According to Lomidze, the Turkish destination has demonstrated a three to five percent growth at the start of the season, while Egyptian figures have stayed the same. Political instability in Thailand has played its role, making the country ten percent less popular than last year.

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