With the beginning of the war in Ukraine, everything changed, and every citizen of the country felt it. All spheres and industries were affected, including the tourism sector. It is difficult to imagine how in such extremely difficult conditions it is possible to travel not only for the purpose of resettlement to safer places, but also the opportunity to escape at least for a while from the terrible realities that a full-scale invasion brought with it.
Some may have a reasonable question: why even think about tourist trips, if these are such difficult times? But everything is much more complicated and deeper. It’s not just about being able to rest. In fact, tourism plays a major role, significantly influencing the country’s economy and the well-being of its citizens. Therefore, it should not be considered only as an entertainment sector. In any time, both peacetime and wartime, it supports the sphere of economic activity of the state and society.
Significant impact of tourism on the country’s economy
Among all industries, tourism ranks third in terms of revenue in the country’s economy. Income from tourist trips, and, accordingly, taxes from them, make up a significant share of the budget.
It is tourism that gives impetus to the development of various parts of the infrastructure, including trade enterprises. It provides many jobs and opportunities for earning, creates conditions for the operation of companies in industries that cooperate with the field of tourism.
The economic and social impact of the tourism industry is comprehensive:
• increase of local incomes;
• development of industrial and social infrastructure in tourist centers;
• development of industries related to the production of various tourist services;
• promoting the development of culture and folk crafts;
• creation of jobs.
Yes, in the conditions of war, it is hardly possible to talk about the development of tourism. But both for the economy and for society, it is important to preserve at least part of its activity. And after the end of a difficult period – direct efforts to its recovery.
What happens to tourism during war
Since the beginning of the full-scale invasion, tourism in the country has reduced its activity. Everything is complicated by the fact that Ukraine, like many other countries of the world, has not yet fully recovered from the coronavirus pandemic. The industry again returned to unprofitability and failed to reach 2019 figures.
We don’t even have to talk about foreign tourism for obvious reasons. First, a large number of citizens have increased expenses and decreased incomes. Secondly, conscripts cannot travel abroad with their families, even if they have the means to do so. Third, there are logistical challenges. Also, do not expect the arrival of a large number of foreign tourists until the country is safe. And those who visit Ukraine today are primarily representatives of foreign mass media and employees of departments moving around the country for work purposes. As the war continues, the situation will worsen. If compared with last year, the budget this year will be able to receive no more than 10% of the previous indicator. In 2021, legal entities paid tourist fees in the amount of 154 million hryvnias, FOP – 90 million. Many companies that organized tours stopped their activities. A large number of employees of small and medium-sized businesses are left without work and income> these data are not a secret and I received them openly.
Nevertheless, despite the difficult circumstances, the field of tourism continues to struggle with difficulties. Now it works at about 30%, focusing on travel within the country – mainly in the western Ukrainian direction, for example, the picturesque and cozy region near Lake Synevyr.She tries in every possible way to support the budget with her taxes and with her services to people who need rest in this extremely difficult period. And they do not forget about the displaced people. Many companies are engaged in volunteering, supporting the army with essentials, as well as displaced people, placing them in sanatoriums and organizing their further movement.
If the tourism sector continues to fall into the abyss of crisis, there will be even more problems. The country’s budget will not receive a large amount of taxes, from which the Armed Forces and the most socially vulnerable categories of the population are financed. Supporting the country’s economy, the tourism sector itself needs support.
Tourism as a method of psychological rehabilitation
The activity of the tourism industry is not only about supporting the country’s budget, although this function is extremely important, especially during times of military operations. It also acts as a method of short-term but effective psychological rehabilitation.
When the state found itself in a situation of military conflict, it was reflected in the psychological and emotional state of citizens. Due to constant stress and being in a state of tension, fear and despair, people need more than ever the opportunity to find relief and temporary peace even in small joys. Tourist trips contribute well to this, they help to reorient for a while, to relax physically and emotionally. This has a beneficial effect on health and performance. After all, the country needs strong and confident citizens in the future, ready to rebuild the destroyed in the future.
Countries that want to live not only for today, already during the war think about how they will live after its end. Rebuilding and improving the activities of important economic sectors and the field of tourist services is an opportunity to return to a full-fledged life sooner. Therefore, tourism must and will work. We are waiting for victory, and it is close to work!