Among foreign destinations, the most realistic candidates for the main points of growth in tourist demand after the opening of borders are Turkey, Cyprus and Israel. Also, the tourism industry and aviation would greatly benefit from the opening of Egypt, which would probably become the most popular Russian destination among foreign destinations. At the same time, domestic tourism is expected to return first, all the more so as a “wave” of pent-up demand is expected from tourists who are quarantined, even despite all financial difficulties. This forecast was voiced in an interview with RBC by TUI Russia CEO Taras Demura.
“The most optimistic forecast for the start of tourism recovery is from July. The most realistic - since October. A pessimistic option for restoring flights abroad is by the beginning of next year, ”said Taras Demura. At the same time, according to him, if the current regime with its quarantine lasts about six months, then travel companies will have to go into the “freeze mode” with a partial reduction of staff and the transfer of the remaining employees to part-time work. “So far, we have not had to carry out significant reductions in the company, the entire team is now working remotely in the project mode - preparing the site and all documentation by the time the quarantine restrictions are lifted. However, to its state of “normality”, the tourism industry as a whole will have to recover for several years, ”the expert said.
“According to our estimates, tourism recovery will begin with domestic tourism. Borders will begin to be opened later - only when the situation with the epidemiological situation in other countries becomes clear, ”said TUI Russia General Director. Nevertheless, he named several "initial" candidates. “The restoration of foreign tourism is likely to begin with Turkey. The coronavirus is not so raging in Turkey, the country is warm - and some experts hope that the heat acts on the virus, ”the source explained. Also among the likely candidates are Cyprus and Israel.
“The discovery of Egypt would definitely change the situation. Egypt is a cheap, very popular destination, especially in winter. Egypt could dramatically help both tour operators and travel agents, and airlines that need to operate their aircraft in the winter, and Egypt is ideally suited for this, ”Taras Demura emphasized.