How the Russia vs Ukraine conflict will change the FUTURE of the Events and Tourism Industry


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.

Global Effects…

(Created with Canva, data sourced from Emerging Europe, UNWTO & Airlines AITA)

  • 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.

A man clears debris at a damaged residential building in Kyiv in February, just after Russia started its invasion.
DANIEL LEAL/AFP via Getty Images

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.

(Created with Canva)

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?

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s4006831 says:

This is a very impactful read and shows the harsh reality of the world were living in and how tourism has and will be affected. I would like to hope that tourism would slowly return to normal once it is over airspace and prices will become the same as before the war.
Do you think the same that it will return back to normal?

s4003616 says:

Thank you for engaging with our post! I am sure we all hope that everything will return back to normal once this conflict comes to a peaceful end but some things will definitely have to continue changed once this does happen. Airspace will more than likely continue to be restricted between certain countries due to certain alliances taken in this conflict and products and prices may have to continue to change as suppliers are changed over to benefit the industry in each country.

s1900822 says:

It really was interesting to read, this article put focus on what are the consequences to the harsh reality of it all. What would be your opinion on the neighbour countries? EU countries have some kind of protection but what about non EU nations that are close to either Ukraine or Russia? Alongside that, that region of Europe has countires that have been hit by communism. There were mixed feelings from those countries regarding Russia even before the conflict. Would you think those countries would antagonise Russia even more and make it harder to travel to either Russia or Ukraine but also said neighbour countries?

s4003616 says:

Thank you for the read and comment! We appreciate questions as they show interest in our chosen topic.
In response to your first question about non EU nations, the EU has been in constant support to the Western Balkans who are a good example of a region near to Ukraine that are not part of the EU. There have been open talks about the integration of this region into the EU in the future, so the support of these countries will no doubt lie with the EU nations.
The second question is a tricky one for us to know for sure. After the conflict is hopefully peacefully over, there will be many countries still with sanctions against Russia which will for sure antagonise them. Travel to these areas will have definitely changed forever after this conflict.

Alice says:

Nice article! Has Ukraine ever seen anything like this before? In terms of cultural and economic impact.

s4003616 says:

Hey Alice! Thank you for reading our blog, we appreciate the time taken to do so.
Ukraine has had a complicated history with Russia for centuries but there has never been an impact quite like this to their culture and economy, it is a very devastating issue that we hope will not continue for much longer.

Beth says:

Great article, it was interesting to learn more about how this war will impact tourism as I think this is often an area that is overlooked! I think many people would be interested to hear how this negative impact might affect those of us who aren’t involved personally. How might the damage to the tourism industry of Ukraine/Russia affect the tourism industry as a whole, and the whole industry in the long-term? Is there anything that us ordinary people can do to help?

s4003616 says:

Hi Beth, thanks for reading our blog and taking the time to leave a comment.

Long-term effects will include an obvious loss of Ukrainian and Russian tourists due to setbacks they have faced due to the conflict and countries such as the UK who once supplied their produce from Russia will have to change their supply chains completely, which will affect the prices of things such as fuel.
In terms of things that ‘ordinary’ people can do to help, it is difficult to say, but you could make a start by helping your local tourism and events industry as they may be struggling due to this conflict. An example of this would be by booking and attending an event in your area, therefore contributing to their economy.


Debbie Byrom says:

Interesting article. I don’t think I had considered the impact on tourism. This is a sad and violent conflict affecting many people and areas of economy. A thought provoking read.

s4003616 says:

Thank you for taking the time to read the article and leave a comment Debbie!


Kirsten says:

An interesting topic, thank you for raising it. I’m considering travelling to Finland or Sweden and I’m wondering if the impact of Russian aggression in the region means these countries are getting less tourists as people feel more nervous about going to countries bordering Russia.

Helen Vrouwes says:

President Nixon spoke about a national
energy crisis in 1973. Mainly about energy from the Middle East but it can also apply nowadays to Russia. Being so reliant on many things from Russia has left many countries now in crisis and many people will not take holidays because they can’t afford it. Do you think that the UK and other countries should have foreseen this and made alternative plans so that we would not have this energy crisis now? Putin will not stop until he has command of Ukraine but there will be nothing there at the end of it. Do you think that the UK should be concentrating more on energy conservation and energy independence to release the grip that this crisis has over us? The hospitality and tourism industries have already suffered through the Covid crisis and are now restricting their opening hours and some are closing altogether because of the massively increased costs to run their businesses. How long do you think it will take for Ukraine to recover from the war? I think it will take many many years to rebuild cities and families. Russia is also sabotaging gas supplies to put more of a squeeze on other countries. I enjoyed your article, thank you!

s4003616 says:

Hi Helen, thank you for reading and leaving such a detailed and informed comment!

To your first question, although there was an energy crisis in 1973, the world is evolving so quickly when it comes to technology and sustainability that people would assume having such a crisis would not be an issue anymore. So perhaps there can’t have been such a prediction from officials.

Secondly, yes, we believe that the UK should now show more of a focus towards energy conservation and independence as it has been highlighted how much we reply on them. A strategy that the UK could take is to get inspiration from other countries. This could mean implementing controlled “blackouts” where all electricity is shut off at the same time each week/month whilst allowing the general public to prepare for this as it could save a lot of energy and bring down costs.

Finally, we agree with you, and we also predict that it will take years for Ukraine to recover from this conflict especially because of the rapidly growing poverty rate that was last recorded in 2019 at a shocking 47.3%.


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