The Odessa City Hall has decided to lengthen the traditional Odessa summer season as part of efforts to build on the city’s strong 2015 performance as Ukraine’s leading tourism destination. Summer 2016 officially began on 1 May, with a campaign now running in a range of Ukrainian cities declaring the opening of the summer season. Odessa was Ukraine’s most popular resort in 2015, generating the second-highest tourist tax revenues behind the capital, Kyiv. This impressive outcome has highlighted the potential for greater incoming tourist revenues from Ukrainians – especially with Crimea under Russian occupation and the weakened national currency making foreign vacations prohibitively expensive for many Ukrainian families.
“Odessa boasts a wealth of attractions to surprise guests at any time of the year. You could argue that the holiday season lasts all year round,” commented Tatyana Markova, the Director of Tourism at City Hall.
As well as a range of traditional tourist attractions, the Odessa city authorities also plan to highlight the city’s potential as a destination for medical, educational and business tourism, with additional focuses including water sports and fishing. Press tours will mark the start of the summer high season, with journalists from Georgia, France, Belarus, Belgium and Germany invited to spend a few days sampling the delights of Odessa.
“Hotel bookings demonstrate that in Q1 of 2016 many foreigners visited Odessa,” shared Svetlana Karlova, the President of the Odessa Tourism Association. She added that the largest numbers of tourists came from America, Estonia and Russia.