Business news from Ukraine

Analysis of main tourist destinations for Ukrainian citizens

The Ukrainian travel industry responds to demand and changes to meet the needs of travelers. Thus, in all popular destinations, there are more opportunities for recreation with children, and the geography of departure points is expanding, both for bus and air tours. Join UP! tm tour operator has analyzed the main destinations and vacation formats that will be in demand this year.

Early start

Recent statistics show that tourists are more likely to start the summer season in the spring. Mostly we are talking about the Mediterranean countries: Turkey, Spain, Cyprus, and the Greek islands.
At this time, the weather in this region is almost summer-like – the average air temperature is +25°C and the water temperature is +19-20°C, and prices are lower and there are fewer tourists. Accordingly, tourists have a better chance of booking even the most popular hotels in high season and taking excursions that are already available in the spring months.
In addition, spring is a period of flowering, which makes the southern landscapes even more interesting. Another reason why traveling in spring is gradually becoming more popular is the rise in summer temperatures. Those who do not like excessive heat plan trips in April and May.

Leaders of queries

The list of the most popular vacation destinations remains unchanged – Turkey (from 8026 UAH*) and Egypt (from 17 281 UAH*). The countries differ in climate and nature, but are similar in their wide range of all-inclusive hotels. At the same time, both countries have a wide range of excursions, so even when returning to the resort, you can get new impressions again and again.
European resorts are also in great demand: Albania, Bulgaria, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Montenegro, and Spain. The share of tourists choosing these countries is growing every year. At the same time, each country has its own specifics. For example, Albania (from 17,027 UAH*) has the cheapest all-inclusive format for its region, Cyprus (from 17,689 UAH*) has an active nightlife, which is why it is popular with young people, and Crete (from 10,292 UAH*) is popular for excursions and natural locations, Montenegro (from 16,008 UAH*) is more often traveled by those who like to travel around the country, and Spain (from 26,958 UAH*) is appreciated for its combination of urban recreation, beautiful landscapes and amusement parks for children.
Tunisia (from 18,585 UAH*) is also worth mentioning, as the demand for it has been growing steadily in recent years. If last year Join UP! tm offered tours to this resort only with departures from Romania and Poland, now trips are also available from popular airports in Poland and Moldova and even Lithuania.
Tunisia attracts with a combination of high service (the country has a large concentration of hotels of global chains), beautiful beaches and a rich excursion program covering the Sahara, Carthage and the town of Sidi Bou Said, which is known for its traditional architecture in blue and white colors and spectacular sea views.

Exotic destinations

Traveling to distant countries – from equatorial Africa to the islands in the Indian Ocean or the coast of North America – has always been a relatively small but stable segment of demand. The Dominican Republic, the Maldives, Mexico, Tanzania (Zanzibar), and Sri Lanka attract many people, but the price often remains a deterrent.
However, recently, some tourists have been booking trips to these countries in the summer, when it is the low season. Prices during this period are much lower, and it is also possible to get into hotels that are usually unavailable in winter due to a significant increase in the number of tourists.
The price of traveling in summer is different from the main season, because hotels in this season make a discount of 20% to 50%. Thus, you can fly to the Maldives for a week from 63,948 UAH* per person, to Zanzibar from 61,551 UAH* per person (7 nights in a hotel), to Sri Lanka from 58,244 UAH* per person (7 nights in a hotel), to the Dominican Republic from 86,225 UAH* per person (9 nights in a hotel).

Vacations with children

Women with children have been one of the most active categories of travelers in recent years. This has led to some changes in the market: now most destinations are adapted to accommodate families with children. This applies to suitable hotels with animation and amusement parks, as well as excursion programs.
Popular air tours to Turkey for two adults with a child start at 22,406 UAH*. A trip to Montenegro for a similar number of tourists will cost from 47,590 UAH*, and to the islands: from 27,998 UAH* in Crete (Greece) and from 47,899 UAH* in Cyprus. A trip for two adults with a child to the Maldives will cost from 187,291 UAH*.
There is also an option to travel by bus. Thus, a trip to Bulgaria for two adults with a child will cost from 17,865 UAH*. You can go there from Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Lviv, and Kyiv. You can also travel to Turkey by bus: for two adults with a child, the trip will cost from 27,438 UAH*. Buses depart from Kharkiv, Zaporizhzhia, Odesa, and Kyiv. It is worth noting that the service on board the buses is expanding every season: the opportunity to pre-order meals, use online cinema services, and much more is added.
“Ukrainians have learned to coexist with the war as much as possible. Parents work, children study, and rest in the summer. In addition, for many people summer is the sea, and since such a vacation is almost impossible in Ukraine, we are seeing a positive trend in the demand for foreign travel,” comments Kateryna Artyukh, Head of Product Marketing at Join UP! tm. – Of course, we are still far from the indicators of 2021, but compared to the previous year, we expect an increase in bookings by 30%. Ukrainians need a reboot to stay strong for the long term, and traveling is one of the best opportunities to stay safe and get new experiences.”

* – all prices are quoted at the exchange rate as of 19.04.2024 per person, based on double occupancy.

, , , ,

Ukrainian Join UP! has opened agency in Poland

One of Ukraine’s largest tour operators, Join UP! has opened its first franchise agency in Poland, the office will operate in Katowice and become the hundredth in the company’s franchise network, its press service told Interfax-Ukraine.

The Join UP! brand entered the Polish market in 2022 as a tour operator and began cooperating with local travel agents. The opening of a franchise agency was the next step in strengthening the travel brand in the market.

“The interest in cooperating with us on a franchise basis in Poland demonstrates the high trust of our partners, which we have gained over more than a year of work in the new market. We try to support entrepreneurs in all the countries where we operate and give them the opportunity to build a profitable business together with Join UP!”, comments Marina Daineko, Head of Sales Development.

In addition, she noted that the development of the franchise network abroad expands access for Ukrainians to the already familiar travel service created by compatriots.

The development of the franchise network is one of the strategic vectors of the brand. Join UP! started this direction more than 10 years ago, and as of March 2024, the network includes 100 travel agencies, 33 of which opened after the start of the full-scale invasion. The office in Katowice became the second foreign office under the franchise program (since 2017, it has been operating in Moldova).

According to Daineko, the average cost of a lump sum (one-time start-up) fee in Ukraine is UAH 60 thousand (depending on the city and region), the highest is in Kyiv, in small towns – about 40 thousand. Royalties (monthly payment) range from $50 to $125 per month, also depending on the region.

In Poland, the cost of a lump sum payment is EUR2500, and royalties are 0.5% of the sales of Join UP! tours and 1% of the sales of tours of other tour operators.

In addition to full franchise support provided by the brand, new cooperation formats are also being introduced to attract new partners.

According to Deineko, with the outbreak of a full-scale war, several dozen franchise agencies in the country closed due to occupation and destruction. In addition, the logistics of traveling in Ukraine have changed dramatically.

“To preserve the Ukrainian tourism sector in such difficult conditions, it is extremely important to support and unite the market. To this end, we have launched the Join UP! program with simplified conditions for joining the Join UP! network for agents with experience,” she said.

Today, the Join UP! brand is represented in eight markets. In 2022, the brand’s companies appeared in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Poland and Romania, and its position in the Moldovan market, where the tour operator has been represented for several years, was strengthened. This year, the company plans to enter the Czech Republic and Slovakia as a tour operator.

Join UP! LLC was established in 2013, with an authorized capital of UAH 72 million 671 thousand. In 2023, revenue increased to UAH 16 million 639 thousand, which is 2.3 times higher than in 2022. At the same time, the company incurred a 1.8-fold higher net loss of UAH 234 million 120 thousand, compared to UAH 129 million 486 thousand a year earlier.

The strategic partner of the tour operators operating under the Join UP! brand is SkyUp, and together they are part of the UPfamily group of businesses, the ultimate beneficiaries of which are Yuriy and Alexander Alba.

, ,

Large Ukrainian tour operator entered European market

Ukrainian tour operator Join UP! has entered the markets of Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Kazakhstan, Poland and Romania in 2022 amid war and a sharp decline in demand in Ukraine for its services, the company said in a statement Friday.
“Entering the new markets allowed us to retain a team in Ukraine. We also believe that our work in foreign markets will build confidence in Ukrainian travel brands, and after the war we will be able to significantly increase the flow of inbound tourism, which will have a positive impact on the country’s economy,” regional director of Join UP! Anton Savchenko said in the release.
As for Ukraine, the tour operator pointed out that the incomplete two pre-war months of last year accounted for 41% of total travel in 2022.
According to the release of the company, July, August and September were the busiest months of the military last year, but if you compare with similar months of last year, the total number of tours in these months fell by almost a third – to 48.6 thousand from 140.6 thousand.
In addition, as shown in the materials, the situation in the country has significantly affected the portrait of Ukrainian travelers in 2022: the number of women who traveled during the year was 4-5 times more than men. At the same time the tours are now booked more often for one person, and 77% of all travels are exclusively for adults.
In Join UP! also said that the average travel check of Ukrainians in 2022 increased by 23% compared to 2021, due to complicated logistics and rising costs of tourist services in the resort countries.
The company also said it offers transfers to Chisinau and Poland’s Rzeszow with departures to popular destinations.
“Now it is the capital of Moldova remains the most popular departure point for tourists traveling from Join UP. Since the beginning of the flights almost 51 thousand travelers traveled from there. However, the popularity of Rzeszów is also growing,” said Join UP!



The net revenue of Join Up! tour operator in 2018 totaled UAH 65.741 million, the tour operator has told the Antimonopoly Committee of Ukraine.
“According to the financial statements [on consolidated revenue], the net sales revenue of Join Up! tour operator for 2018 is UAH 65.741 million,” the committee said in a decision dated June 21, 2019.
The Antimonopoly Committee fined Join Up! UAH 1.5 million for spreading untrue information regarding what airlines the tour operator will cooperate with to carry tourists.
The owners of Join Up! tour operator are Oleksandr Alba and Yuriy Alba.

, ,