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Russian Public Chamber asks airlines for lower fares to Crimea in summer

March 20, 2014, 12:54 UTC+3 MOSCOW
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MOSCOW, March 20. /ITAR-TASS/. Russia’s Public Chamber is drafting suggestions to the government, tourism companies, airlines, state authorities and businesses on expanding tourist flow into Crimea, the Chamber’s deputy head Vladislav Grib said on Thursday.

“As Ukraine may introduce a visa regime, it is especially important to support Crimea,” he said. “Summer holidays and business trips to Crimea this year are sort of demonstration of solidarity. Anyway, the Black Sea resorts are wonderful, and thus many of my colleagues at the Public Chamber will be happy to spend their summer holidays at Crimean resorts.”

He continued saying the Chamber suggested the airlines “made special offers for the flights to Simferopol (Crimea) in summer, and tourism companies lowered accommodation costs on the peninsula.”

“Along with that initiative, we shall address the media, including sites on the Internet, asking to place adds of our Black Sea resorts offering special prices or even free tours,” Grib said. “Here, of course, the support from the government will be most important to offer conditions to implement all those suggestions.”

He added that the Chamber would advise all partner organizations “to have their conferences and forums due late spring or summer to have those in Crimea if possible.”

“The interest to spending holidays in Crimea is clear, and the Chamber’s headquarters on the situation in the region receives regularly inquiries from Russians and Ukrainians. The main problem here is a lack of information; it is most important to explain to people that summer holidays in Crimea may be very comfortable,” Grib said in conclusion.

Crimean authorities want major Russian airline Aeroflot to lower fares for Russian tourists visiting the peninsula, Crimea’s Minister of Resorts and Tourism Elena Yurchenko told a news conference at the Crimea Inform media centre on Tuesday.

“The main question in the negotiations will be about whether subsidies could lower the fares,” Crimea Inform quotes the minister as saying.

Yurchenko said recent unrest in Ukraine had caused problems for Russian tourists going to Crimea. In the past, most of them preferred to travel by rail.

“Now, they would face crossing the border twice,” the minister said, noting the importance of alternative routes to Crimea by air or sea.

At a tourism forum hosted by Simferopol, Crimea’s capital city, days before, representatives of Russia’s northern Yakutia told the audience they would insist on lower air fares to Crimea, the minister said. “We discussed significant lowering of prices for air tickets between Yakutia and Simferopol so that trips to Crimea were more affordable for tourists from that region,” Yurchenko said.

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