How the Russia vs Ukraine conflict will change the FUTURE of the Events and Tourism Industry
18th November 2022
At the beginning of 2014, Russia took over the Ukrainian region of Crimea. This was the spark which led to a rivalry, subsequently leading to the unprovoked attack on Ukraine by Russia in early 2022. This conflict has left many broken hearts and the country of Ukraine has been left devastated. Culture, economy and political bonds have been hugely impacted, which has in turn left an impact on the events, hospitality and tourism industry.
The Tourism industry is struggling
The conflict between the two countries is causing various long-term effects on the Events, Hospitality and tourism industries. Airlines are being restricted on airspace as the UK and Russia have both prohibited each other from over-flying their country. This causes airlines to take action, which means that flights get cancelled or rerouted. Customers may not like this as it could lead to an increase in ticket prices due to more fuel being used.
Airlines are having to raise the prices of their flight tickets as a consequence of higher fuel prices. Fuel is one of an airline’s highest expenses because of the cost of labour and the price of fuel, which has risen in recent times due to much of the UK’s jet fuel supply coming from Russia (5% to be exact).
Russia produces and exports a lot of key materials used for manufacturing in various countries. Russia provides a huge source of titanium, which aircrafts and engines are often made with. The production line is taking much longer due to no supply and heavy demand.
Events may change forever
Supply chains of simple goods and products are being disrupted by the conflict, raising prices of these goods as well as the time it takes to receive them. This is especially bad at the moment as the impact of Covid-19 wreaked havoc on the same supply chains. The events industry relies on the imports of products such as wheat, maize, oils and fertiliser from Russia as food and drink is a huge part of this industry. The UK has switched its import sources from Russia to other sources, which will change the rate of imports as well as quality and perhaps even flavour of some of these goods.
A big part of this war is the placement of sanctions to Russia and their people. Although it is evidently unfair on the common people of Russia that take no role in the war, companies such as McDonalds are ceasing their operations in the country. This is also being applied to the events industry where Russian people cannot attend certain events as a sanction, which may apply to the future of the industry if the war continues.
- Cruise ships docked in Tallinn has decreased by half, the main reason being tourists can no longer visit St Petersburg, which is a popular attraction for Baltic Sea cruises.
- The war impacted the number of bookings during spring and summer, particularly for group bookings.
- Latvia has spoken about how their tourism marketing budget is now largely invested in campaigns for tourists around Europe, as “most of the tourists come from Lithuania, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Germany and other European countries.
- Montenegro was a popular destination for wealthy Russian tourists. previous to the conflict beginning, Russia and Ukraine were a total of 15.8% of Montenegro’s tourists, with 21% staying overnight.
- Bulgarian government started a scheme in order to boost tourism and help out refugees who had been to Bulgaria, this scheme offered them 20 euros per day for food and accommodation. payments were given to hoteliers to host more than 40,000 refugees at their seaside resorts.
- The rise in oil prices and cost of travel is increasing causing a sense of uncertainty for organisations and tourists.
- Fuel is an airlines highest expense, a rise in this price would lead to them increasing ticket prices, potentially driving tourists to take part in domestic travel instead.
- The decline in tourism for many countries has put job opportunities and current employment at risk for many.
Impacts on Culture and the future of Ukraine
Once the conflict comes to more of a stand still or end, the tourism industry will take a while to reboot in the places affected due to the destruction and loss of popular tourist attractions and heritage sites. UNESCO has recently reported that 143 important cultural sites have been damaged due to the conflict. People who visit Ukraine will want to experience the culture and cannot see the greatness of it all once it has experienced such destruction.
When considering Ukraine as a holiday destination in the future, people may have their doubts due to the uncertainty of safety in the destination after the conflict with their neighbouring country Russia. This is something that the Ukrainian government, with the help of their allies such as the UK, must consider once the conflict is lesser. One thing they could consider is making use of the destruction by creating a more dark tourism-based experience as many tourists interested in this may want to see the effects the war has had on the country.
The harsh reality…
Whilst researching this topic, we came to a stronger realisation of the severity of this situation and how the whole world is continuously being affected. The hospitality, events and tourism industries have suffered from massive challenges that the conflict has brought with it such as the fall of supply chains, airspace restrictions and much more.
The reality that these industries have to face is that is that there aren’t any quick fixes to the issues that have arose without impacting themselves or consumers. In light of this, organisations must continue to stay as positive as possible for the future of the ever-changing industry. Companies such as United Airlines have started a fundraiser where they can put in efforts to support Ukraine with supplies. This shows the importance of humanity that our world cannot thrive without during these times.
A question for you
To end our blog, we want to hear back from you and get an insight into what you think about this very current and serious topic. How do you think this conflict will affect the future of your travels? And why?
- European tourism support to the people of Ukraine – ETC Corporate – ETC Corporate (etc-corporate.org)
- Russian invasion of Ukraine: UK government response – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- Travel and tourism in Russia – statistics & facts | Statista
- The Impact Of The Russia-Ukraine War On The Events Industry – Endless Events (helloendless.com)