Crimean tourism won’t be affected by Booking.com exit – region head

Crimean tourism won’t be affected by Booking.com exit – region head
Hotels in Russia's Crimea will not face a shortage of reservations after Booking.com stopped working in the region, according to Crimea’s top official Sergey Aksenov.

Last week, Booking.com stopped working with Crimean hotels in compliance with US and European sanctions against the republic. “This decision will not affect bookings, all tour packages have already been sold for this season, there is no real threats for us,” Aksenov told TASS news agency. Booking.com was available in Crimea until last week, even though sanctions against the region were introduced in 2014.

One of the hotels received a letter from the booking service, which said it can no longer work with tourists in Crimea, but the service is still available for those coming to the peninsula for work. “According to these sanctions, companies are not allowed to offer any services directly related to tourist activities in the Crimea. Although business travelers can still book accommodation options in the Crimea,” Booking.com wrote.

Earlier, Aksenov reported that bookings had surged by a third in the first six months of the year compared to the same period last year. He added that hotels are 70-percent booked, which is 15-percent more than last year.

Over five million tourists visited Crimea in 2017, a 3.2-percent decline compared to the year before. Authorities say the drop is due to increased travel to Turkey following a rapprochement between Moscow and Ankara, and some tourists preferred to go there. However, this year, Crimea expects as many as six million tourists.

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