EUROPEAN TRAVEL POLICY, 16 July 2002

EUROPEAN TRAVEL POLICY – INSTANT NEWS ON TRAVEL POLICY IN EUROPE

UKRAINE PREDICTS TOURISM SUCCESS ON "UNEXPLOITED POTENTIAL" IN 2002

EUROPEAN TRAVEL POLICY, 16 July 2002

The head of Ukraine’s state tourism administration, Valeriy Tsybukh, says 2002 will be a success – and EU money is helping to make it so. Tourists from Central Europe, the Baltic States and the former USSR republics have been choosing to holiday in the Crimea and the Carpathian region post-September 11, he says. By mid-July this year approximately 2 million people holidayed in Crimea, up more than 10% on the same period last year, says the regional president, Serhiy Kunitsyn – half from Russia, 15% from Belarus and 30% from Ukraine. About 150,000 come from beyond, especially from Germany.

At present some 12 million tourists visit Ukraine annually, generating around Hryvnya 6.2 million (Euro 1.2 million), of which Hryvnya 1.2 million goes to the state. A tourist who spends three days in Ukraine spends an average of US$520 on living expenses, travel and film. But Tsybukh admits that Ukraine is using too little of its potential: the current market could be increased to 36 million, he remarks in a just-released review of tourism from government sources. Only 700 of the country’s 3,300 health resorts are in operation, mainly because of lack of funds. And it needs 20,000 hotels instead of the current 1,300 – although this will need a change in the current tough domestic tax rules that impede profitability, he says. He believes Ukraine should model itself on Turkey, Poland and the Czech Republic, which " developed their domestic tourism sector to such a degree that they are completely supported by it". The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Anatoly Zlenko, has recently given instructions for an informational campaign abroad in order to attract more visitors to Ukrainian resort regions.

The Ivano-Frankivsk Oblast, which is holding a "Year of Tourism" this year, is building on an EU-funded tourism development project, which received Euro 1.5 million in 1999-2001 for supporting local development and tourism in the Carpathian region under the Tacis programme of aid to the former USSR. A further Euro 1.4 million Tacis project will run in 2002-2004 on conserving the environment and developing green tourism and eco-tourism. And the Carpathian tourism council has received US$32,000 in grants from international organizations to market the region as a tourist attraction through educational seminars, informational tours, advertising, publications, and representation at international tourism fairs. By contrast, in Chernihiv – known as the " mini-Kiev" because of its many historical and cultural monuments – the tourist service industry is "non-existent", with too few hotels, and problems with water supply and heating in those that do exist. And in the Kherson Oblast, despite its unique natural recreational potential on the shores of the Black Sea and the Azov Sea, tourism is "sluggish".

IATA SAYS 2001 THE WORST YEAR EVER

EUROPEAN TRAVEL POLICY, 16 July 2002

"The worst in the history of air transport" is how IATA describes 2001. Its more than 200 member airlines carried 1.35 billion scheduled passengers during 2001, a decline of 3.3 percent on 2000 and the first year-on-year decline since 1991, according to IATA figures just released. International scheduled passengers declined 2.2 percent. The average passenger load factor on those services fell by 2.2 percentage points to 70.3 %. The decline in the freight market was even more severe; freight tonnes carried by IATA Members on international scheduled services fell by nearly 7 percent. The combination of reduced traffic, falling yields and rising unit costs, with capacity only marginally reduced, produced a net loss of US$ 12 billion on international scheduled services.

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