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EUROPE SUN & BEACH

Greece is short of charters, but hotels give discounts up to 40%

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Tour operators talk about a consistently positive trend in demand for Greece, stressing that an increase in sales is unlikely at the moment. The main problem has not been resolved - the lack of charter transportation.

Demand, which did not show satisfactory results in early July, began to level out gradually.

“At the beginning of July, demand was lower than expected, but since the middle of the month we have seen a significant increase in sales and requests for tours to Greece”, - Russian Express operator assessed the dynamics.

From July 24, the number of regular flights has increased to seven per week from Russia to the Greek Heraklion and Thessaloniki. There are daily regular flights from Moscow to Athens, from Moscow to Rhodes and Corfu (4 flights per week on each route), to Araxos, Zakynthos. There are also regional flights to Thessaloniki.

From Moscow to Athens and back, according to ticket aggregators, tickets cost a little more than 403 Euros, for a flight from Moscow to Rhodes and back you need to pay about 345 Euros. Tickets on the Moscow - Corfu - Moscow route cost about 333 Euros.

Before the pandemic, the flight program to Greece was many times larger and flights were loaded well. Now the volumes are much less and there is no shortage of tickets.

“The dynamics of booking is good, the average sales’ depth is about 4 weeks. More active growth of demand is constrained by low-budget offers for holiday in Turkey and poor awareness of travelers about the entering in Greece. Tourists actively request holidays in Greece for September and October period.  For July and August many hotels have given good special offers - discounts for accommodation reach 40%,” Tez Tour said.

Turkish authorities do not plan to close the country to Russian tourists

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Russian tourists planning a vacation in Turkey in the near future may not be afraid of new restrictions or tightening of sanitary and epidemiological measures.

As the Turkish Embassy in Moscow reported, the Turkish health and tourism authorities are not planning any restrictions or tightening measures for tourists from Russia, although on the eve of the head of the Union of Infectious Diseases of Turkey, Mehmet Ceyhan called for toughening anti-coronavirus requirements for Russian tourists against the backdrop of an increase in the incidence in the country.

Earlier it was reported that in the event of a worsening of the situation with the spread of coronavirus infection, the Turkish authorities may resort to severe restrictive measures up to the closure of the borders with the Russian Federation.

On Sunday, July 25, Turkey recorded 14 230 cases of coronavirus infection. Since May 11, this is the maximum figure. According to the country's health ministry, it has more than tripled since early July.

The day before, on July 25, it was reported that the Turkish authorities are considering the option of introducing mandatory quarantine for arriving Russians. The Turkish authorities, the Ministry of Health and the elite insist on this. There are proposals to completely close the borders.

Russia provided almost half of the total tourist flow to Cyprus

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The Russians are in the first place in terms of the number of tourist arrivals to Cyprus in June. At the same time, tour operators record a significant growth in demand for accommodation in high-quality hotels: now Cyprus attracts more wealthy Russians.

“The volumes of booking tours to Cyprus please the suppliers. Cyprus is one of the few European countries available for Russians, an electronic visa is easy to issue, the flight program is arranged from the regions,” explained Aleksan Mkrtchyan, director of the travel agency network Pink Elephant.

Official statistics confirms the observations of tour operators and travel agencies: Russians are the leaders in arrivals to Cyprus in June, providing 45,8% of tourist traffic. In June, 184 159 tourists spent holidays in Cyprus, of which 84 400 were from Russia.

The decline compared to pre-pandemic times is noticeable. So, in June 2019, just over 117 thousand tourists from Russia were in Cyprus (27,8% more than in June this year). But the share of Russians in June 2019 was exactly two times less than this year: 22,9% of 509,7 thousand tourists.

Judging by the dynamics of current bookings, July 2021 will also demonstrate good figures in the Russian tourist flow, representatives of tour operators believe.

According to the tour operators, the demand for accommodation in high-quality hotels of the 5* category has grown especially brightly.

“This summer's bookings show one characteristic tendency - good expensive hotels are the preferences for Russians. We practically do not book tours to hotels in Cyprus of the 2-3* level, but more than 70% of sales are 5* and good 4* hotels," said the Russian Express company.

ASIA

Thailand has opened several islands for Russian tourists

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Despite the increase in the incidence of the "delta" strain of coronavirus, in Thailand, after Phuket, several islands were opened for vaccinated Russian tourists.

The island of Koh Samui, Phangan and Tau in the Gulf of Thailand began to receive foreign tourists.

Phuket opened to vaccinated tourists on July 1st. Vacationers no longer need to go through quarantine at a hotel on the island, but they are prohibited from leaving Phuket for two weeks.

Under the new rules, vaccinated people can come to Koh Samui, but they must stay on the island for at least a week. At the same time, they can leave the hotel only on the fourth day after arrival.

Tourists arriving at Koh Phangan and Tau are asked to provide a negative PCR test one week after arrival.

According to the list published by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, the requirements for arriving at the resorts of Surat Thani are partially similar to those that apply from July 1 in Phuket.

Bangkok and nine provinces of the country are currently subject to severe restrictions, including a curfew and a ban on gatherings of more than five people.

During the day in Thailand, about 9,2 thousand new cases of coronavirus were detected, 98 people later died of infection with COVID-19.

EUROPE

Hungary to open for vaccinated tourists from Russia

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Russian travelers who have been vaccinated against coronavirus will not need to take additional tests to enter Hungary, according to a statement by the head of the local Foreign Ministry Peter Siyarto.

According to him, the decision is mutually beneficial for both states: Russian tourists will be able to enter Hungary for tourism purposes, subject to full vaccination against COVID-19, and local residents will be able to arrive in Russia. They, however, need to present a negative PCR test for this.

The Foreign Minister also expressed the hope that it is the holidaymakers from Russia that will help restore the tourism industry, which has suffered greatly due to the pandemic and restrictive measures.

Earlier for a visit to Hungary, the Russians had to provide two negative tests for coronavirus, made within five days before entry with a difference of 48 hours, or go to a two-week quarantine after crossing the border.

It is clarified that the Hungarian authorities considered the possibility of opening the borders for Russian tourists a month ago, subject to a reciprocal step by the Russian side. The main requirement for the resumption of the Russian tourist flow was the mutual recognition of vaccination certificates between Hungary and the Russian Federation, and the Hungarian side was ready to take this step even earlier than the Russian one, which was finally done.

Source:
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30.07.2021

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