Primorsky Krai can be visited by 2.8 million tourists this year, which is half a million more than in 2021, said Nikolai Stetsko, deputy prime minister of the regional government. How are camps prepared for a serious influx?
The Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) studied the preferences of organized tourists (clients of tour operators) for the three summer months of 2022. The data of sales of tourist packages (with flights) and hotel accommodation (without flights) in Russia and in foreign countries with arrival dates 01/06/2022 analyzed – 31/08/2022. Thus, in June, tour operators account for about 60–65% of all summer bookings abroad, about 25% for July and only 10–15% for August. In the resorts of southern Russia, the structure is somewhat different: June – 45% of bookings, July – 35%, August – about 25%
In general, in the market, the number of tour packages sold and accommodation in foreign countries by tour operators is 18–20% less than it was a year ago, at the end of May 2021. The reduction also applies to Russia – the closure of airports in Crimea and some other airports in central and southern Russia is affecting sales in general. Where will these tourist flows go now? Experts say – in other areas, including Primorye. The beginning has been made – this summer, according to the owners of the camps, tourists from Siberia, the Urals, and even from Moscow and St. Petersburg will come to us.
In addition, “groups of tourists from Moscow and St. Petersburg are already on their way,” says Yevgenia Belyanina, CEO of travel company Dialogue of Peoples. A variety of destinations in terms of prices, areas, types of tourism gives tour operators the confidence that this year the industry will reach a sub-level. “And in 2023, the tourism boom will not start at all,” Belyanina is sure.
Many entrepreneurs are already trying to find a “gold mine”. Irina Petrova, host of the Chateau Krasny Kot leisure center: “Finally, people are coming to us from almost all of central Russia. Now those who understand the growth prospects of domestic tourism are actively investing in this business. Specifically, we plan to launch a new complex, which will increase seasonality, as well as a heated pool. In the future, we plan to focus on work all year round. And there is every chance the investment will pay off. “Because the number of people who want to relax in Primorye is likely to increase.”
Alexander Vilde, CEO of the Teploye More hotel complex and the Teploye More water park: “The coronavirus and the lockdown have only benefited our domestic tourism. It became more difficult to get abroad, visitors were redirected to the local leisure, this gave impetus to the development of all areas related to tourism. And the demand is high this year. There are no other places for the summer, now active booking is made for the autumn period.
Elena Tereshchenko, manager of the Seven Bays (Vityaz village) apartments: “It is now quite clear that after Covid, tourism, especially leisure centers, has become the most demanding and fast-paying type of business. Many, including us, had booked all the seats for the May holidays. It was a weekend, people wanted to relax. “
People are not even intimidated by the fact that prices are rising along with demand, while infrastructure actually remains pre-floods utilities are appropriate. “We increased the prices by 10% due to the rebranding of the rooms. On average, a double room today costs 5,000 rubles. per day, “Tereshchenko said.
“The daily cost of a comfortable room is between 9,000 and 12,000 rubles. Residents of Primorsky Krai who come to rest, as a rule, stay in leisure centers for 2-4 days and guests coming from afar book rooms for at least 10 days. “Demand is growing,” explains Evgenia Belyanina.
However, due to high costs and poor infrastructure, Primorye may lose tourists as quickly as the collective West imposes sanctions on the Russian Federation. Galina Gomilevskaya, Director of the VSUES International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, PhD in Economics: “Companies that have worked in the domestic market are feeling really good now. Simply, given the Chinese market, we used to have “well, everything is very good”, but now it has become “worse”. As for the tourism industry in terms of investment, in Primorye, unfortunately, the season is very short, so in my opinion, even taking into account the increase in tourist flow during this short period, it is still dangerous to invest in better and, consequently, more expensive projects. And now we, in Primorye, have many leisure centers, but few of high quality. Keep in mind that good locations with a high level of service and maintenance are booked in the winter. And they will not go to “bad” people for free.
Location also matters – Primorye is far from “the rest of Russia”. I often visit the western part of the country and the reaction in Vladivostok is almost the same everywhere: it is always a slight shock and the idea that Vladivostok is “cold but interesting”. And if we talk about promoting the Far East in terms of attractiveness for tourists, then in Russia as a whole there are problems with booking systems, collectors, social networks. When the position of the area is already quite stable, it seems to me that it is easier to “project” it. But when you need to take innovative steps, it is always a big problem. It’s nice that new forms are being actively developed today. For example, glamping, which is not associated with seasonality. It could be a great alternative to rest in terms of both mobility and cost. “But so far we have not developed this direction.”
Larisa Smirnova, commercial director of Cruise House in Moscow, said that interest in any tourist destination always arises in different ways. The first is how to get there. Time and price play a big role here. The second is the hotels section. People, as a rule, want to feel culture and comfort even “in the taiga”.
Larisa Smirnova: “As a rule, everyone associates a good rest with excursions, spa treatment and children’s rest. In view of all the above, tourists from central Russia do not have a clear understanding of what to do in Primorsky Krai. It is clear that the Caucasus is perceived as a “health resort and barn”. Kamchatka – amazing nature, volcanoes, fishing. And there is no clear relationship with Primorye. Tourists have many questions: if it is a beach holiday, then why not have a large number of hotels with good infrastructure, such as in Korea, Thailand? For example, I do not know of a single luxury resort in Primorye that would be attractive to affluent tourists. Those who could afford a nine-hour flight to the “end of the world” with quite a lot of money. But the question is: why fly here?
The desire of tourists in the Maldives does not require explanation. And, despite the difficult flight at 15:00, as well as the cost of tickets of 1.5 thousand euros, the planes there are suffocating. And all this because people clearly understand why they fly there. In Primorye, it is necessary to analyze the rest by target audience. For every tourist it should be obvious – what he will get here, specifically, and not abstract, like “sea – nature – taiga”. There are a few general concepts. We need details: in which hotel he will live, what excursions are available to him, what he will receive in terms of gastronomy – by the way, here it will not hurt to define clearly, for example, to make mussels or shells characteristic of the area, or a symbiosis Russian and Asian cuisine. In addition, we need subsidized charter flights from central Russia to the Far East with a fixed ticket price. Because wealthy tourists will not go to you en masse because of more interesting alternatives abroad or in other parts of the country, and the middle class will think a lot: it is worth spending a lot of money and time on air travel in an area that, for him, is a “pig in a sack” “Primorye needs specific travel agents with specific proposals”.