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Ukraine crisis leads to less Russian tourists in Europe, claims agent

Aug 29, 2014
From wire reports, RIGA

Ukraine crisis leads to less Russian tourists in Europe, claims agent
(photo: twitter)

The number of Russian tourists in Europe has reduced by 40 percent amid the crisis in the Ukraine, CEO of the travel agency Baltic Travel Group Vlads Korjagins claims.

The travel agent said the trend is affected by the fall in the value of the ruble against the euro.

"It is now expensive for them to travel here," Korjagins said.

"A lot of business class tourists, business owners, and people from the [Russian] regions used to visit Latvia in winter. These groups have been hit the hardest by the crisis."

Riga used to be a popular destination for events organized by Russia's largest pharmaceutical, IT companies and banks. Now most events are held in Russia, primarily in Sochi, Korjagins claims.

The pop-music festival in Jurmala New Wave attracted many Russian rich tourists from Russia and was successful for Latvian hotels, however, forecasts for the end of the year are rather cautious. There are also risks in the corporate sector, he believes.

"This market used to grow 20 percent annually, whereas this year it has stopped growing," Korjagins told the LETA news agency.

Russian tourists are important to the Latvian market, as they make up 28 percent of the total number of tourists in Latvian hotels, Korjagins claims.

The number of Japanese, Australian, American and Canadian tourists visiting Latvia has also fallen due to the Ukraine crisis.

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