Tourist demand plummets, Inna Tour says

‘The current tourist demand is extremely low. The dramatic market downfall is obvious, both Moscow and Yekaterinburg keep canceling more and more flights. The majority of cancelled flights were those bound for some warm, beach destinations. What is more, people simply stopped booking in advance; most agents haven’t even sold the tours offered for the end of February. Even special ‘hot’ offers are not selling very well. The reason for this is both the growing euro and dollar exchange rates and the financial crisis,’ Inna Tour Travel Agency’s Director Inna Averyanova said to an UrBC reporter.

In the meantime, the Russian ruble keeps dropping against the U.S. dollar and the euro at most exchanges.

‘A lot of tour operators have been leaving the market lately. The thing is, the jet fuel prices and therefore the ticket ones were very high last summer, and so many companies sustained great losses on their chartered flights. Then, the banks refused to lend money to some of the operators, so the latter were unable to pay for the hotel reservations and the chartered flights as usual. For example, this was the case with lots of companies partially owned by the Turkish business community. This is why it’s hard to say how many businesses that were focusing on popular, mass-scale destinations like Turkey and Egypt will still be operating by this summer. Besides, some companies have had to introduce a shortened working week, some of the managers had to go on ‘vacations’, and the number of available flights has been reduced into the bargain. Moreover, the agent networks’ subsidiaries keep closing down, people are losing their jobs or getting smaller salaries,’ Inna Averyanova added.

‘The ‘host countries’ have felt this downfall as well, so the UAE and some European countries, for instance, have been offering discounts on hotels, whereas the Egyptian authorities even provided special anti-crisis subsidies for supporting the tourist business in the country,’ she noted.

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