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YALTA, June 29 /ITAR-TASS/. Staff of a holiday center in the vicinity of Yalta on Saturday gave a red-carpet welcome to the visitors who had become the first ones to arrive in Russia’s youngest region after the inflow of tourists here had gotten over the mark of one million people since the beginning of the year.
Residents of the city of Donetsk Yelena Shestakova and her son Alexei happened to be Tourist No. 1,000,001 and Tourist No. 1,000,002.
“This was quite a big surprise for us,” Crimean Minister of Resorts of Tourism Yelena Yurchenko told Itar-Tass. “At first they went from Donetsk to Moscow but they immediately disliked the weather there (air temperatures in Moscow are unusually low for June this year - Itar-Tass) and decided to go to Crimea. They came here by ferryboat on a unified ticket.”
Unified tickets were introduced by the Russian authorities after Crimea’s reunification with Russia and the subsequent problems with railway transportation across the Ukrainian territory. It presupposes that a traveler can arrive in a city or town on the Black Sea coast by train, then take a bus to the port servicing ferryboats and get to Crimea on a ferry.
Yelena Shestakova told reporters her son and she had found the trip by the unified ticket to be a very convenient one.
“At first, I had second thought about what I would do after getting off the train but it turned out that the level of organization was very high,” she said. “We were welcomed by volunteers everywhere. Just imagine we got off the train in Anapa (a popular seaside resort and a major railway passenger terminal - Itar-Tass) and in just twenty minutes after that we were riding in a bus to the seaport.”
Yelena Yurchenko added to this that a special methodology was helping to determine the number of tourists arriving in Crimea.
She said that holiday centers and camps for children were filled at 80% to 120% of their capacity but other resorts offered a highly contrasting teacher and only those of them could boast a high degree of occupancy of the rooms that had done substantial preparations for the high season.
“This season is high differentiated and the tourist facilities that haven’t run powerful promotion campaigns and cannot boast up-to-date comforts or equipment are filled at only 10% to 15% of their capacity,” Yurchenko said.
“Still, other holiday centers have many more customers at much the same time,” she said.
The facilities formerly owned by Ukrainian state agencies have the smallest customer demand this year. On the face of it, the occupancy of the rooms at private hotels and resort clinics that had managed to do all the scheduled preparations for the season varied between 65% and 100%.
Yurchenko also confessed that private lodgings were showing unsatisfactory occupancy rates, too.
“Individual tourists haven’t started coming yet but I hope the time-tested tradition will be observed and their arrival en masse will begin as of July 1,” she said.
“We hope they will come and will gladden our private apartment landlords,” Yurchenko said.