‘Tours on May holidays are frenetically booked’

Where are Tatarstan residents going to travel on the next long holidays?

‘Tours on May holidays are frenetically booked’
Photo: pixabay.com

The range of choice for holiday in a resort is still limited, but Tatarstan citizens’ interest in trips abroad is growing day after day — proportionally to the decline in the coronavirus pandemic. At the same time, travel agencies note the rate of early booking is rising, there is demand even for October, but the influx isn’t big now. Turkey and the Black Sea shore are in the lead regarding demand, though prices for them have notably increased, to 30%, mainly due to the dollar and euro that have gone in price. Read more in Realnoe Vremya’s report.

People are ready to get vaccinated to go on holiday

Tatarstan residents have missed travelling during the pandemic and are looking for an opportunity to go on holiday abroad with the attenuation of coronavirus restrictions, they are ready to receive a vaccine against COVID-19 for this purpose.

The share of those who decided to receive a vaccine to go abroad is rapidly growing, Realnoe Vremya was confirmed by Tutu.ru travel agency’s Analytic Department. 10% of 2,200 of people who were surveyed if this opens them the road to Europe, 4% agree to get vaccinated to go to the seashore, another 8% can do this for the sake of any foreign destinations. So 22% of the Russians are ready to get vaccinated because of trips abroad, moreover, 18% have already received a vaccine.

However, despite the wishes, the choice of destinations isn’t big yet. Moreover, the amount of early booking is far from last year’s numbers:

“Tourists don’t yet understand how the situation will unfold further. Europe is closed, the entry to Turkey requires a PCR. I think one shouldn’t count on massive early booking this year, we don’t expect it. Tours to the Emirates and Turkey are purchased, but this is a low demand of the last 2-3 weeks,” President of the Association of Travel Agencies of Tatarstan, Director General of Persona Grata travel agency Ramil Miftakhov told Realnoe Vremya.

Director General of Inteltour Kazan Lilia Savelyeva also reports on her clients’ cautiousness. A lot of Tatarstan residents are planning a holiday in Russia 2-3 weeks in advance:

“According to our experience, those who have had an opportunity now are trying to travel. Those who changed their booking mainly due to early booking. Of course, those who thought about where they would go, for instance, those who bought a tour in late March in January were at an advantage in terms of price.”

Booking for October

Others say the booking rate has increased from a month until the end of the summer. Intourist has clients who booked tourists for October when schoolchildren are on the autumn holiday.

“It became clear for people that new countries aren’t opening, and they already have to decide what to do with their holiday, moreover, many know the date of their holiday in February, early March, as a rule. Today I have seen that sales are rising week after week. And everybody cares about the summer holiday especially now. I understood that we reached high indicators of early booking at the height of the summer,” PR Director of Intourist tour operator Daria Domostroyeva told our newspaper.

According to her, Tatarstan residents “are frenetically booking tours on May holidays”. The Arab Emirates, Zanzibar, the Maldives and Cuba are now very costly. The majority chooses domestic destinations as well as Abkhazia where they anyway travel via Sochi.

The representative of Intourist notes that Turkey is first among foreign destinations.

“People have missed the sea. The first question we are asked and that’s discussed in all tourists’ groups and chats is: ‘What will the weather be like in Antalya on May holidays and can we swim?’ We reply it depends on the year. If the spring is early, the water gets warm by May. Everything depends on what water tourists got used to. For somebody, +25 is cold, but as a rule, people freely swim on May holidays,” Daria Domostroyeva assures us.

Sales Director of Salavat City Center travel agency Rustem Tarzimanov also called Turkey the most popular destination — 99% of all early booking.

“There is uncertainty about a lot of other destinations. For instance, Greece, Cyprus can’t decide if they are ready to open. And if they are ready, what the terms are. But people understand that there will be a season in Turkey. Last year, it opened for tourism despite difficulties with coronavirus. This is why people have started to actively book Turkey during the whole summer and in September,” Tarzimanov described the situation.

Demand for Sochi is traditionally high in Tatarstan. The popularity of Crimea is growing, notes the specialist of Intourist where the tour operator organises charter flights as well as to Antalya and Dalaman. Moreover, regular flights from Kazan to Crimea will open too.

To Dubai for 205,000

Prices for travel are growing accordingly demand and not only. According to Daria Domostroyeva, a holiday abroad has gone in price to 5% together with the euro rate. Turkey has become 10-30% more expensive, Lilia Savelyeva added. Due to the growing demand and small choice, a holiday on the Russian seashore will be more expensive too. By Intourist’s estimates, accommodation in hotels in Russia in general increased from 5 to 15%.

The head of Inteltour Kazan pays attention to very expensive tickets to regular and charter flights to the Maldives, Arab Emirates, including from Kazan.

A flight from Kazan to Dubai from 25 March to 3 April has become the most popular one in the last weeks, Rustem Tarzimanov put an example. A two-way economy ticket per person is 205,000 rubles.

“This is linked with the availability of flights. For instance, Turkey doesn’t have any restrictions from a perspective of the number of flights that tour operators want to have, they have access to this destination, and the number of such companies is big enough. This is why this year we will have both charter and regular flights to the same Antalya. For instance, Pobeda is planning to fly there four times a week from the summer. Prices for those destinations that we have restrictions on, mainly on the number of flights, particularly to the Arab Emirates are exorbitant, to put to mildly,” Tarzimanov explained.

By Yekaterina Ablayeva