July 27, 2015
Translated from Russian by J.Hawk
While the odious governor of the Odessa Region Mikhail Saakashvili is concocting plans to end smuggling in “his” region in 100 days, the resort town, the “pearl of the sea” is avoided by many cruise ships. Due to the instability, the number of Odessa port visits decreased by 80%.
“There are five times fewer ships arriving than we estimated. The overall situation in the country, the tragic events in the East, all of that is damaging tourism to Odessa even though we are doing all we can to show the situation here is calm and there is no danger to tourists,” Odessa port administration head Mikhail Sokolov told journalists.
He also said that during the first six months of 2015, only 6 large ships paid visits to Odessa, instead of the originally planned 27. More than 60% of the passengers are British, Americans, and Germans, reports TASS.
Odessa, which is one of Ukraine’s main tourist destinations, used to be visited by 120-130 thousand cruise ship passengers every year and the authorities planned to double that number over the next seven years. However, already last year only 28 foreign vessels visited Odessa out of 159 scheduled.
The city used to be visited by over a million tourists but their number decreased by 90% since the coup and the start of the civil war in the East. There are no more tourists from Russia and Belarus who earlier represented about 80% of the vacationers.