Amidst the recent Crimean Bridge explosions, thousands of Russian tourists find themselves trapped in Crimea, unable to leave the occupied peninsula. However, amidst this challenging situation, there is a glimmer of hope as compassionate hoteliers in Crimea step up by offering extensions to guests facing financial constraints.
The Russian Union of Tourism Industry (RST) highlights their efforts, emphasizing that no tourist will be left stranded. “We have engaged with numerous hotel owners in Crimea, and it is reassuring to see their willingness to support tourists by extending their stays,” states Ilya Umansky, President of RST.
Not only hoteliers but also tour operators are ready to assist their clients. The RST is fully prepared to intervene and provide aid in cases where tourists report eviction, ensuring no one faces these difficulties alone.
Despite the challenges, Boris Zelinsky, Head of RST Crimea, assures that transportation to and from Crimea remains accessible. Travelers can reach Crimea by train or through the newly annexed territories, benefiting from well-maintained roads used by freight transport for an extended period.
Experts note the growing demand for Crimea since July, as tourists seek alternatives to the limited availability and high prices in the Krasnodar Krai region. Presently, Crimean hotels report occupancy rates ranging from 50% to 80%.
Elena Bazhenova, Head of the Crimean tour operator “Lazurny,” confirms that hotels are accommodating tourists by offering free or discounted extensions for the nearest days. While there have been tour cancellations for the end of July and August, she urges tourists to avoid impulsive decisions, assuring them of the genuinely safe environment in Crimea, particularly along the southern coast.
In response to the transportation challenges, tour operators have temporarily suspended bus tours to Crimea, awaiting further information on available alternatives. The possibility of opening one lane of the Crimean Bridge for reverse traffic or proposing an alternate route through Taganrog is being explored.
There is no need for panic among tourists as travel routes gradually open for trains and cars, allowing people to depart gradually. For those planning to drive to Crimea, rescheduling options to hotels in the Krasnodar Krai region or considering other regions like Moscow are being offered.
According to the RST data, approximately 20,000 tourists were scheduled to depart Crimea in the coming days, while a similar number had planned to travel there for a vacation.