Sanctions have led to an increase in demand for accommodation in Abkhazia – therefore, Russian tourists will have problems by the summer season: there is a high risk of an increase prices and overbooking (lack of rooms) in popular hotels. This assessment was presented by experts of the Russian tourist market, interviewed by ATOR. Experts note that the key point – after which a shortage of places and prices are likely to rise – will be mid-late April.
So far, the “situation on the ground” is as follows: in the last three weeks, the number of bookings has grown from 15% to 30%. Intourist, for example, even recorded transfers to Abkhazia from such mass destinations as Turkey and Egypt, and also noted that the share of package tours for the summer season is about 70%, tourists save on flights. The increase in bookings was recorded by almost all market players – and almost all of them have had it in the last two or three weeks. At the same time, they “sort out” mainly hotels of an average and above average level and boarding houses “with names” – i.e. top accommodations. So FUN&SUN (former TUI Russia) reported a multiple increase in sales in Abkhazia in March and named such hotels Amra ParkHotel, A.V.Sokol, Alex Resort & SPA Hotel, Abaash, “Europe”, “Zhoekvara”, “InterSukhum”, “Magnolia”. Dolphin announced an increase in demand for Abkhazian classics, i.e. boarding houses “Boxwood Grove”, “Literary Fund”, “Mussera”, “Aitar”. At the same time, as Sergey Romashkin, the general director of Delfin, commented to ATOR, since the beginning of 2022, the demand for summer tours in the Abkhaz direction has increased by about 5-7% compared to the same period in 2021. “Sales in Abkhazia will not be lower than in 2021, and under certain conditions they will even exceed them,” he cancels.
Abkhazian prices are still a very “provocative” factor for a tourist – the average check is from 2.5 thousand per day per person; and the existing spread from 1.4 to 4.4 thousand on average per day is still very attractive. Although rest can be found for 20 thousand per day. At the same time, despite the growth in demand, price growth is moderate – by 10-15%. Sergei Romashkin noted on this occasion that “the hotels of Abkhazia have taken a calm and wait-and-see attitude.” “Given that Abkhazia is a low-cost destination, any price change will be sensitive to demand. Hotels do not want to take risks,” he notes. That is, if we translate interest into the “ruble equivalent”, the price is raised by 150-300 rubles. However, there is a risk that by the start of the summer season-2022, prices for accommodation in Abkhazia will increase by another 7-10% due to rising prices for energy resources, food, etc. Moreover, popular objects can raise prices even higher.
Most popular hotels will have another problem, experts added. Abkhazia, like the Russian south, has a limited number of popular hotels, and with high demand, overbooking will occur quickly. “A certain shortage of places is already taking place, and popular objects may announce a halt in sales by the end of April,” the experts unanimously declared.
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