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YEKATERINBURG, April 04. /ITAR-TASS/. The Crimean authorities have announced the opening of the tourism season on May 1. After the accession of the Republic of Crimea to Russia, tourism remains the leading sphere of services of the peninsula, but this kind of business, being the source of the means of subsistence for the majority of Crimean residents, is not registered by and large. Moscow is faced with the task to accurately bring it in the federal legal field, without discouraging enterprise. It is planned to do this, in particular, through the maximum involvement of the Crimean potential in Russia’s developed tourism sector. To this end, a delegation of the Crimean Tourism Ministry is taking part in the Big Ural forum in Yekaterinburg in order to present the region’s possibilities and talk on this issue to businessmen of the Ural Federal District.
The Crimean authorities have already concluded agreements on co-operation in the tourism sphere with Russia’s Tomsk, Irkutsk, Kaluga and Tula regions. The agreements with Yakutia and Tatarstan are at the stage of preparation. The Ural region comes next. Quite many Ural residents want to go to Crimea for holidays, so UTair and Ural Airlines air carriers are opening new routes to Simferopol for this season.
Crimea is ready to receive six million tourists, which will be offered a discount of up to 25% on hotel accommodation, Crimean Tourism Minister Yelena Yurchenko told ITAR-TASS on Friday. “Don’t believe the reports alleging that we have tanks here and the vacationing is not safe. We guarantee quality tourism services,” she said. “We have in Crimea 825 accommodation facilities with the price of 700 - 4200 roubles ($20 - 120) per day.”
The history of Crimean tourism
The beginning of the peninsula’s development as a resort dates back to the second half of the 19th century. It was then that the park and palace ensembles Oreanda, Livadiya, Dulber, Chayir where the Romanovs royal family liked to recreate, appeared. After the October Revolution (1917), Crimea became the “all-USSR health resort,” receiving hundreds of thousands of tourists. And after the USSR disintegration, the obvious place of Crimea in the economy as a resort became non-demanded and was replaced by the Mediterranean countries.
In 2013, a total of 1.5 million Russians visited Crimea. More are expected now, but it is necessary to modernize the peninsula’s tourism sector to this end. According to Rector of the Higher School of Economics Yaroslav Kuzminov, Russia’s middle class annually spends one trillion roubles on vacationing abroad. “Refocusing domestic effective demand on the Black Sea (Crimea and Sochi) by at least 30% - is a rather rational task for 2020,” believes the economist, “as the inevitable erosion of the purchasing power of the ruble will make the domestic resorts more attractive, if they offer good enough services.”
Crimea as Russia’s new region is yet to struggle for tourists who have become accustomed to comfort. Having unique natural advantages, Crimea in terms of infrastructure quality, service standards is inferior to the popular resorts of Egypt or Turkey. To mend the situation, Crimean hoteliers and tour operators have said they are ready to make a 50-%discount on tours, and the Russian government promises to ensure a twofold reduction of the price of air tickets to Crimea. Russia’s Federal Tourism Agency (Rosturizm) for its part proposes to increase the inflow of tourists in the future by means of the integration of Crimean health resorts into the Russian social insurance system, to expand the advertising campaign to popularize its resorts.