Krasnodar Krai resorts target Middle East health tourism sector
Krasnodar Krai resorts in Southern Russia will target the Middle East health tourism sector with a first appearance at Arabian Travel Market 2005, the region’s premier travel and tourism exhibition. The Russian region is famed for its health spas which offer curative muds and mineral waters at some of the country’s best equipped health centres and sanatoria.
Olga Andreeva, Director, Krasnodar Krai Economic Development Agency said: “We are exhibiting at ATM 2005 to expand an existing market which has seen people from the Middle East come here for health cures.
“We see health tourism as key to bringing more Arab visitors to a region that can offer everything from beach holidays to heritage and culture, and a look at the Cossack way of life.”
Andreeva said Krasnodar Krai would also be looking for investors at ATM, either to develop hotels and resorts on green field sites or refurbish existing sanatoria to cater to Arab clientele.
She added: “We have people in place to train staff in Arab customs and traditions, and we have had some negotiations with potential developers and remain open to proposals.”
Krasnodar Krai, with a Mediterranean climate, 1,200 kilometres of coastline and snow capped mountains, is Russia’s leading resort tourism region. It has more than 1,500 spa resorts and hotel developments and its tourism industry is currently growing by 10 to 15 per cent a year. It has three international airports at Krasnodar, Sochi, and Anapa with weekly flights to the UAE.
Krasnodar Krai is joined as a newcomer to the ATM line up by Bolivia, which will be mounting national participation for the first time at the show, which runs at the Dubai World Trade Centre from May 3-6.
New-to-market entries and expansion by regular exhibitors is driving floor space growth of around 20%, according to ATM organisers Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE).
Chris Chackal, RTE’s Group Exhibitions Director, said: “Outbound tourism from the Arabian Gulf is now worth more than US$12 billion a year, according to recent reports and the average spend by people from the region when they travel abroad is US$ 1,000 a day, three times the international average. ATM is key to accessing this highly lucrative market by the global industry.”
ATM 2005 is set to break records in exhibitor numbers with 99 per cent of space booked in a show that will be 3,000 square metres larger than last year at 14,200 square metres.
Arabian Travel Market 2005 is held under the patronage of General Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and UAE Defence Minister and under the auspices of the Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing, Government of Dubai.
This year RTE says it will donate entry fees from the ATM’s two public sessions to the ‘Just A Drop’ charity to provide fresh water to communities ravaged by the December Asian tsunami.