Russian tourism expected to drop by up to 30 percent

By on July 21, 2014
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The Ukraine crisis threatens to reduce tourism to Russia by more than a fifth as perceived risks drive customers away, according to one of the largest tour operators working with foreign visitors.

The flow of foreign tourists may drop 20 percent to 30 percent this year, said Alexander Maklyarovsky, head of incoming tourism at Moscow-based KMP Group.

“Most tourists visiting Russia are pensioners from the U.S. and Europe who are very sensitive to risks and to what they hear in the news,” said Maklyarovsky.

Russia’s recent annexation of Crimea and the continuing standoff with NATO countries over the fate of Ukraine caused the U.S. and the European Union to introduce sanctions against Russia. The dispute is threatening growth in the $2 trillion economy, including tourism in the country, which attracted 2.67 million visitors from abroad last year.

 

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