ATOR chief: COVID-19 will not utterly shut down Russian tourism industry
According to the executive director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR), Russian tourism industry would not come to complete halt, despite the enormous hardships encountered by tour operators and travel agencies due to global COVID-19 pandemic.
But some companies will be forced to leave the market, Maya Lomidze said at a press conference on Wednesday.
“The whole industry cannot die. It is clear that it will come out of this crisis greatly changed, there will be fewer companies. They will not go bankrupt in the alarmist context that usually accompanies this concept – thousands of dissatisfied tourists, problems with export and import – some companies will just simply leave the market, and not only because there are certain difficulties with profitability, but also because the have accumulated a certain fatigue. According to our estimates, about 30% will leave the market by summer,” she said.
Accorrding to Lomidze, small and medium-sized companies are now in the most difficult situation. Large companies will survive the situation, she believes, since they have a larger “safety net”, had more directions to offer. “They will just become stronger. The market has been mobilized and is not going to curtail – this applies, first of all, to large companies,” she said.
At the same time, she noted that international tourism in Russia will receive 25 billion rubles ($321.52 million) of losses, domestic – 12 billion rubles ($154.33 million), if most of the tourist destinations do not open before September. “According to our estimates, international tourism will lose about 25 billion rubles, domestic tourism – about 12 billion rubles if the current situation persists,” she said.