HomeTourismThe unexpected refusal of the Ministry of Energy to subsidize charter tours...

The unexpected refusal of the Ministry of Energy to subsidize charter tours in Russia caused confusion in the travel market

The Ministry of Economic Development is not going to restart the program for subsidizing tourist charters in Russia this year. This was stated by the director of the department for implementation of projects in the field of tourism activities of the Ministry of Economy, Vladimir Trach.

He explained that stimulating demand for travel around the country is “losing its relevance” – tourists are already actively traveling around the Russian Federation, and now we need to “concentrate on supporting supply from the tourism industry.”

The Cabinet of Ministers, by its order dated March 1 last year, allocated 250 million rubles. for 2023 and 2024 to compensate tour operators for part of their costs for charter programs in Russia. Some market participants set up such flights to priority regions from the list approved by Rostourism in the summer season before last and last. And of course, they expected to subsequently receive compensation from the state. According to previously unofficial information, the money intended for subsidies was returned to the budget in December. Now this has actually been confirmed.

It turns out that the state support program was curtailed retroactively, which clearly does not help strengthen the confidence of the tourism industry in the promises of the authorities. It seems that the decision was made without any preliminary economic examination. In any case, nothing is reported about the fact that it was carried out. Perhaps all that was required was an adjustment to the subsidy rules, for example, extending it not only to charters, but also to blocks of seats on regular flights across Russia, which tour operators take to transport tourists. After all, it is simply impractical to set up charter programs in some regions; there is a high risk that the planes will not be filled. In addition, subsidies would certainly not hurt during the off-season. Independent expert Alexey Kozhevnikov recalls on Telegram: literally in October last year, the Ministry of Energy itself, represented by its deputy head Dmitry Vakhrukov, cited figures – the average occupancy of hotel rooms in the country is 39%. This is not a very high figure. Hotels are filled to capacity in the summer, but in spring and autumn they cannot boast of a large number of guests. And here support from tour operators, who could provide additional load with tourists arriving on subsidized flights, would be most welcome.

Let us recall that subsidies for charter programs are widely used in international practice. Part of their cost to Russian tour operators was compensated, for example, by Turkey, Croatia, Egypt, and the authorities of the Chinese resort island of Hainan.

Source: Tourdom

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