SIMFEROPOL, June 1. /TASS/. The tourist inflow to Crimea grew by 28% in the January to May period of 2018, compared to the same period last year, reaching 1.1 mln, Crimea’s head Sergei Aksyonov said on Friday.
"A total of 1,148,000 tourists visited Crimea in the first five months of the year, which is 28% more than in the same period last year," he wrote on Facebook.
According to Aksyonov, the newly unveiled Crimean Bridge and a new airport in the city of Simferopol contributed to the growing tourist inflow. "Crimea’s economy has started to benefit from new infrastructural masterpieces. In the first two weeks of May, 17% of tourists who came passed the Crimean Bridge, which is rather impressive," the head of Crimea said.
He added that 23% of visitors had come from Ukraine in the above mentioned period "despite all sanctions and obstacles set by the Kiev authorities."
According to official estimates, the tourist inflow to Crimea in the January to April period of 2018 rose by 11% compared to the same period in 2017, reaching 528,500. Crimean authorities expect up to six mln visitors this year, while a total 5,390,000 people travelled to the peninsula in 2017. However, experts say that the tourist inflow is unlikely to increase significantly.
"Tourism industry has an important place in Crimea’s economy," Aksyonov noted. "For coastal towns and settlements, it is a major revenue generating industry. We hope that the current tourist season will be more successful than the previous ones," he concluded.