: Russia-occupied Crimea lacks tourists despite summer season
Society14:26 Jul. 12, 2016

Russia-occupied Crimea lacks tourists despite summer season

One night at Crimean resort costs in average  USD 40 (1,000 UAH) 

Ukrainians keep on visiting the currently Russia-occupied Crimea. Some of them insist the annexation of the peninsula did not affect their intentions to spend holidays at the seaside.

The others simply refuse to comment the issue. Nevertheless, the influx of those willing to enjoy the Crimean sea resorts has decreased drastically. According to official statistics, the number of people crossing the temporary border between continental Ukraine and occupied peninsula lessens annually.

Read also Kremlin annexed Ukraine's Crimea loses attraction for Russian tourists

Oleh Slobodyan, press officer of Ukraine's State Border Guard Service: "In June 2016 nearly 180,000 people crossed the administrative border. This is almost 70,000 less than the previous year. Russian media claim the tourist influx has risen. But we see the transport flow is twice as low."

The lack of tourists is obvious even without the official statistical data. Numerous pictures in the web, as well as the video from the webcams show - once overcrowded in summer, now the occupied Crimea is hardly populated.

This is the central railway station of Simferopol. The schedule board shows no more than two routes of departure and arrival, the rails are totally empty, meanwhile the bus drivers search for single tourists. 

This is a popular Alushta rotunda, all in Russian national flags. The web-camera clearly shows there are few tourists, as if it were early spring outside. Both Gurzuf and Yevpatoriya cannot show mass tourist flow either. Instead of tourist crowds all they can show is Russian flags waving over empty beaches. 

This is Koktebel, once so famous for its jazz festival and nude beaches, now reminds uninhabited island. This place is Feodosiya is considered to be the most crowded.

Read also Crimean tourism trade suffers under Russian occupation

Ukrainian travel agencies say they do not work with the occupied territories and do not sell any trips to the annexed peninsula. Russian travel offices in turn are ready to welcome each and every client, regardless of political views.

A client manager on the phone eagerly tells the prices both in Russian rubles and Ukrainian hryvnias. An average night in Crimea costs slightly more than one thousand hryvnias, which is nearly USD 40.

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