The average daily spending of foreign tourists in Ukraine in 2021 is fixed at $929, the average visit time is 7-9 days, the State Agency of Ukraine for Tourism Development told Interfax-Ukraine.
According to the agency study, among travelers, citizens of the United Arab Emirates had the highest average daily expenses, spending $2,220 daily. Citizens of Saudi Arabia and Oman spent $1,500 daily, Canada – $1,250 daily, the United States – $1,125.
“Last year, despite the pandemic, much more tourists came to Ukraine than in pre-COVID times. In terms of such indicators as the tourist tax for the nine months of 2021, we saw an increase of 20% compared to 2019. This became possible due to the fact that new tourism markets have opened up for us – the UAE and Saudi Arabia. The forecast for 2022 is even more positive. We expect repeated and first visits of tourists from countries that showed interest in 2021. New countries will join them,” head of the agency Maryana Oleskiv said.
According to her, in general, over 4 million foreigners visited Ukraine in 2021, which is almost 26% higher than in 2020.
The main purpose of visits by foreigners last year was vacation, leisure and recreation (29.5%). Some 25.9% of respondents came on a business trip, 22.4% of respondents visited relatives and friends, 11.7% of foreigners came for treatment and rehabilitation, only 4% for shopping. Another 1.2% of travelers visited Ukraine in search of their own roots.
At the same time, 36.5% of foreigners traveled in Ukraine with their families, 35.4% – alone, 21.8% of travelers – with friends. Some 5.1% and 1.2% of foreign tourists traveled with colleagues or as part of tourist groups, respectively.
Some countries of the European Union may temporarily restrict entry for citizens of Ukraine due to the increase in the incidence of coronavirus (COVID-19) and the exclusion of our country from the so-called “green zone,” but at the moment such a decision has not yet been made, Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine Oleh Nikolenko has said.
“The European Union has not yet made a formal decision. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine has previously reported that in the event of an increase in the incidence of COVID-19 in Ukraine, the EU may adopt a recommendation to exclude our state from the list of countries whose citizens can make non-essential trips to the European Union. Brussels reviews the list of countries every two weeks and adjusts it depending on the development of the epidemic situation,” he said on Facebook.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the epidemic situation is worsening not only in Ukraine and in recent weeks the EU has already significantly reduced the list of countries in the “green zone,” and some EU countries have already started to strengthen quarantine measures for their citizens.
“It is important to understand that […] if a decision is made, the EU does not automatically establish new rules for crossing the border, but only provides recommendations to the EU member states. […] Up-to-date information on the conditions of entry of Ukrainian citizens to each individual country of the EU and other countries of the world is available on the interactive map of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine: https://tripadvisor.mfa.gov.ua. It is updated in real time,” Nikolenko said.
He said that one should not expect a complete closure of borders, as last year, and vaccination in the future will remain one of the key conditions for unhindered entry into most countries.
The Foreign Ministry spokesperson also said that if the EU decides to exclude Ukraine from the green zone, it does not cancel the visa-free travel, but only introduces temporary restrictions on tourist trips to counter the spread of COVID-19 infection. “The decision can also be later revised at the next update of the list in case the epidemic situation improves,” the representative of the foreign ministry said.
According to Nikolenko, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the embassies are actively working with foreign partners so that even in the difficult conditions of the COVID-19 pandemic, the circle of countries open to travel for Ukrainian citizens remains as wide as possible and further expands.
The Swedish government has allowed Ukrainian citizens to enter the country since July 26.
“On July 22, the government decided that residents of Ukraine will be exempted from the entry ban, and residents of Rwanda and Thailand will no longer be exempted from the entry ban. These amendments apply from July 26, 2021,” the Swedish government said on its website.
According to the tripadvisor.mfa.gov.ua website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine, the requirement for a negative PCR test for COVID-19 or a vaccination certificate (COVID certificate) remains in force when foreigners enter the country, who are not covered by entry ban.
Currently, Sweden only recognizes vaccination certificates issued in the EU/EEA countries or in Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, Switzerland or the Vatican.
Entry into the country will be allowed if 14 days have passed since the date of the second dose of the COVID-19 vaccine.
It is also noted that Sweden recognizes vaccines approved under the EU regulation 726/2004, or approved by WHO for emergency use. In particular, Sweden approved vaccines such as Comirnaty (COVID-19 vaccine BioNtech Tozinameran,) Spikevax (COVID-19 vaccine Moderna), Vaxzevria (COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca), COVID-19 vaccine Janssen, COVID-19 vaccine AstraZeneca/SKBio, COVISHIELD (Serum Institute of India COVID-19 vaccine), COVID-19 vaccine BIBP/Sinopharm, CoronaVac (COVID-19 vaccin Sinovac).
The PCR test must be done 48 hours before entering Sweden (the time is counted from the moment of delivery of the biological material). The requirement applies to foreigners who are over 18 years old. A COVID-19 test can be done at Arlanda Airport (http://www.airportsky.se/). Citizens traveling from Denmark, Finland, Iceland and Norway are exempt from the requirement to have a negative test for COVID-19 upon entry into the country. Detailed information is available on the websites of the Swedish government and police.
Slovenia has opened its borders for tourists from Ukraine after previously imposed restrictions to counter the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) infection, according to an interactive map of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine.
It is indicated that the regime of temporary entry into Slovenia is allowed for citizens of Ukraine, provided a negative test for COVID-19 by the PCR method (72 hours before crossing the border) or a negative rapid test for the determination of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus antigen (no more than 48 hours before crossing the border), or a COVID-19 vaccination certificate.
The temporary transit regime for 12 hours is also allowed.
Since July 2020, some 1.3 million Ukrainian tourists have visited Egypt, among them about 30 cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) disease have been recorded during this period, Vice Minister for Tourism at the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities of Egypt Ghada Shalaby told reporters on Wednesday.
According to her, during the specified period, among Ukrainian tourists vacationing in Egypt, one or two deaths from COVID-19 were recorded.
Shalaby said that currently, in the main resort regions of Egypt – Sharm el-Sheikh and Hurghada, 400 beds have been prepared for tourists in hospitals, where they can be hospitalized in case of a severe course of COVID-19.
In these clinics, 120 lung ventilators are installed, to which patients can be connected if necessary.
According to Shalaby, if a foreign tourist needs to be hospitalized with COVID-19 in other regions, in particular in Cairo, local clinics are used, in which there is no shortage of places for tourists.
There are always places in clinics if necessary, she said.
Shalaby said that the treatment of tourists from COVID-19 is covered by insurance that tourists purchase.
Commenting on the issues of vaccination against COVID-19, Shalaby said that Egypt recognizes all vaccines registered in the world, including the Russian Sputnik-V vaccine and documents confirming the completion of the full vaccination course.
She did not rule out that over time, Egypt will be able to offer tourists the opportunity to vaccinate against COVID-19 on commercial terms.
Shalaby said that Egypt’s tourism workers are currently being actively vaccinated.
She said that those workers in the tourism industry who have not yet been vaccinated are transferred to those areas of work where there is no direct contact with tourists. Only vaccinated people work with tourists.
Shalaby said the authorities have now increased the allowed hotel occupancy rate from 50% to 70%. At the same time, she predicts that this figure is unlikely to be increased in the near future.
It is unlikely that 100% hotel occupancy will be accommodated, Shalaby said.
The Greek Ministry of Tourism has announced two important changes to the health protocols for tourists entering the country, European Truth said, citing Ekathimerini.
First, the Greek government has decided to allow travelers with a negative rapid test, and not just a PCR test, to enter the country.
Secondly, the minimum age at which children entering the country must provide documents confirming that they are not sick with coronavirus (COVID-19) has been increased. Now children under 12 years old are allowed to enter without such documents. Previously, it was allowed for children under six years old.
All these changes concern people arriving from countries for which it is allowed to travel to Greece and from Greece.
Those traveling to Greece are also given the option to show the EU vaccination certificate in digital or written form instead of a negative test result.