Europe – and in particular, its resorts – suffered significantly more from the sanctions imposed against Russia than tourism in Russia. The fact is that many “Russian” resorts in Europe were left virtually without tourists, according to tourprom.ru. Some countries where Russians traditionally vacationed, as well as where a lot of real estate was bought, are threatened by a simply disastrous tourist season this summer. Interestingly, this assessment of the situation is voiced by Turkish experts.
Thus, the assessment of the “reflection of anti-Russian sanctions” on European tourism was described in detail by a Turkish tourism expert, a representative of the Antalya resort, Recep Yavuz. “Russia, which used to send 45 million tourists around the world and generate $36 billion in added value, has the ability to flip the balance. We see this now, when due to sanctions, not a single plane has taken off from Russia or landed in any area of Europe since February. The damage this has caused to the EU countries cannot be underestimated,” he said.
According to him, the income from tourism in European countries has already collapsed, since Russia has been closed by air sanctions since February – and only new losses are expected in the season. Russian tourists were preferred in many resorts and made an important economic contribution. “European countries that relied on the Russians fell into the trap of the embargo they imposed,” says a Turkish expert.
Among the affected countries, he names the following countries:
• Cyprus and Greece – according to Turkish experts, these countries can be called the most affected by the absence of Russian tourists due to the embargo.
• The 350,000 Russian tourists who have summer villas in Bulgaria have no chance of coming to the country.
• Montenegro is one of the countries where Russian “dachas” are concentrated, but tens of thousands of houses will be left empty because of the Russians who cannot come to the country. Yacht tourism will also suffer.
• In Italy, which started 2022 with a target of 37 million tourists, the share of Russians is 2.5%. Italy struggles to find tourists who shop and stay in high end places like Milan. Previously, about 1 million Russian tourists traveled only to Rome. The economic losses caused by Russian tourists who were unable to come due to the embargo this year are expected to amount to 150 million euros, again in Rome alone.
• The “Russian” resort of Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic also remained empty this year. “The fact that wealthy Russian tourists came to the region before the pandemic and spent an average of 3 weeks in the hot springs was the most important source of income in the region. It’s been going on for about 30 years now, and it’s completely over with sanctions and stuff. In the absence of Russian tourists, who were of great importance not only for the resorts, but also for the merchants of the city, the city is practically deserted. By the end of May, just a few rooms are loaded in hotels, the shops are empty and closed, ”says the Turkish expert.
• Spain also suffered, with 1.3 million Russian tourists. “The Spaniards, who once flew Russian flags saying ‘Don’t come again!’, are now looking for Russian tourists with lanterns,” says Mr. Yavuz.