Krasnodar, 3 July. The tourist season has begun in Krasnodar krai. The flows of tourists are growing, as is the tension in the industry.
According to the hotel reservation online service Ostrovok. ru, the number of reservations in Anapa during the first week after the constraints had been lifted grew by 12% compared with 12 June when the resort had been open with a number of restrictions, and by 87% compared with 17 April, when the opening date for the season had not yet been known. In Sochi, the number of reservations also soared – by 18% compared with 12 June, and by 120% compared with 17 April.
However, when comparing these figures with those of the previous year, one will see that the market has in fact been robbed of vitality. The number of daily reservations registered by the aggregating agent is dozens of times lower than usually in this period of summer. The three months of the downtime had resulted in huge losses that may be compensated in several years only. At the same time, many of the declared governmental support measures did not prove their effectiveness.
“There is no guarantee that the situation would get mended by 2021,” Dmitri Bogdanov, director of Znanie Spa Retreat in Sochi, forecasts. “There are a number of resort businesses that have not received any support at all: neither 12,300 roubles to pay wages [to the employees], nor lax credits. At the same time, their liabilities amounted to hundreds of millions of roubles.”
Although the problems of the hotels and the spa retreats are very much alike, it is the latter that are getting more and more sunk into crisis. They must fulfil about 150 provisions set by the Rospotrebnadzor (federal consumer health watchdog), like they may not accommodate a guest, if he or she cannot produce a negative COVID-19 certificate. Varying from the number of the staff, a spa retreat may have to spend about 100,000 roubles just for medical masks. Dmitri Bogdanov states that due to the cancellations and annulations, the industry is losing from two to three million roubles a day.
The authors of the Rospotrebnadzor’s recommendations claimed that the requirements to spa retreats and health centres must be more severe than to hotels, because their guests suffer from chronic diseases and, as a result, are more prone to the virus. If an outburst of the disease would happen in one retreat, all retreats in the city would have to be shut. However such situation looks ironic, because the overbooked hotels are risking to become a pocket of the infection just as the spa retreats, though they do not have the medical staff and equipment needed to neutralise it. Besides, no supervisory body can reliably check how often a privately owned hotel or holiday home disinfects its premises.
Dmitri Ionov, Director of Rus Spa Retreat in Anapa, admitted that they are now facing problems with governmental contracts: “Due to additionally required health certificates, people whose holidays packages are paid by the government – teachers, military personnel, etc. – cannot come. Our staff is 300 people, and every week I have to pay a million [roubles] and more for [medical] tests.”
Dmitri Bogdanov adds that now the occupancy of the spa retreats does not exceed 30%, while the breakeven point for them is 80%.
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