Crimea planning to accept 6 million tourists until year end - Liev

The Autonomous Republic of Crimea has currently accepted 5 million tourists. Until the end of 2013, their number will grow to 6 million.

Crimean Resorts and Tourism Minister Oleksandr Liev told a press conference in Kyiv.

“For August 28, Crimea accepted 5 million tourists. Out of these 5 million, almost 4 million arrived in July and August. Until the year end, this figure, most likely, will reach 6 million,” Oleksandr Liev has said.

He specified that growth of the tourist flow this year against 2012 is 1.2% up against the previous year, despite the fact that a 4% fall was in July-August. Growth took place at the expense of the growing number of tourists, who came in winter, spring and early summer.

According to Liev, in 2013, the tourist flow structure has changed. “We have a fall of the tourist flow from Ukraine by almost 5%, at the same time Ukrainian citizens are our main tourists - almost 4 million out of 6 million a year. But this figure may level up, because we have the off-peak season, when Ukraine actually goes to Crimea,” the Minister stressed.

At the same time, he noted considerable growth of the flow from Russia against the previous year - by 12 % (in 2012, the Russians made up over 4 million), as well as from Belarus - by 30%. Large growth by 37% was demonstrated by Azerbaijan and Turkey. A flow from the EU countries grew by almost 10% and the number of tourists from the European Union is expected to reach 0.5 million persons. It is important that tourists from Azerbaijan, Turkey and the EU do not arrive over the peak season, when the largest number of tourists is in Crimea.

The Minister stressed that the main task for now is renewal of the Crimean status as the year-round health resort, since the sector has not been the priority in the Crimean Republic actually for 20 years. As a result, the narrow season frames became the problem No. 1. “We do not advertize summer and make everything possible to show that Crimea is interesting over other periods too,” Liev said.

Summing up he noted that the winter season (January-February) this year was one of the most successful over all years of independence - growth of the tourist flow was over 20% against the previous year, at the same time, this increase was at the expense of sanatoria, health resorts. The spring season (March - April 25) demonstrated growth of the tourist flow by 18% against 2012. Over a season of May holidays (April 28 - May 12) growth made up 30%. Over a “light summer” season (since mid-May and until the end of June) the number of tourists was at the previous year level - 1.3 million persons. A high season (July-August) brought a slight fall - about 4% against the previous year.

Adapted from ukrinform