News / Europe

Crisis Hits Tourism, Business in Ukraine's Odessa

Crisis Hits Tourism, Business in Ukraine's Odessai
X
Al Pessin
July 01, 2014 4:58 PM
While the separatist crisis continues in two small regions of eastern Ukraine, the rest of the country is trying to return to business as usual, including the port and resort city of Odessa in the south. VOA’s Al Pessin, who recently was in Ukraine, reports on the impact in Odessa from the revolution and the continuing aftermath.
Al Pessin

While the separatist crisis continues in two small regions of eastern Ukraine, the rest of the country is trying to return to business as usual, including the port and resort city of Odessa in the south. The impact in Odessa continues from the revolution.

As the summer tourist season gets under way, Odessa’s main pedestrianized street of shops, bars and cafes is largely empty.
 
Just as few Ukrainians are venturing into occupied Crimea for their summer vacations, many Russians have been scared away from taking their holidays in Odessa. The Russian media portrays Ukraine’s revolution as ‘fascist,’ and focuses on violent incidents like what happened at Odessa’s trade unions building in May. Dozens of pro-Russian activists died after firebombs flew in both directions during a clash with anti-Russian protesters. The exact circumstances remains under investigation.
 
During the unrest, some of these tables and chairs were used to build street barricades for anti-Russia protesters. Now, café owner Vladislav Bass misses his former Russian customers.
 
“The main problem is Russian tourists. Now, unfortunately, they probably won’t want to come to Odessa because of Russian propaganda," said Bass. "But they should understand that we love them. It’s just governments that have a conflict. Visitors can come. Nothing bad will happen to Russians here.”

Odessa offers sun and sea to visitors, and the sea is also the city’s gateway to the world. Its deep water port on the Black Sea has easy access to Russia, Turkey and the Mediterranean. And billions of dollars of goods flow through the region, moving in all directions.
 
The crisis has made investors and other business executives nervous. But Odessa will bounce back quickly, according to Sergei Synyatynskyy of the city’s Employers’ Association.
 
“Odessa is a city with its own vector of development. You can’t say that all these events changed anything fundamentally," said Synyatynskyy. "Odessa has been integrated into the world economy for a long time. Naturally, we had lots of connections to Russia but they were not key connections.”
 
Still, Odessa needs more tourists, and officials recently appealed to Ukrainians to visit to help fill the void left by the missing Russian tourists. Vice-governor Zoya Kazanzhy said the city is promoting hospitality, good food and a cosmopolitan, easygoing lifestyle.
 
“Odessa is well known, it’s a city-brand. Anyone who comes here wants to return. We have a proverb: ‘You have one life, so spend it in Odessa,’” said Kazanzhy.
 
Instability is never good for business or tourism. So in Odessa, people seem eager to get past the conflict, and return to business, and life, as usual.

 

 


 

You May Like

Video On the Scene: In Gaza, Darkness Brings Dread and Death

Palestinians fear nighttime raids, many feel abandoned by outside world, VOA's Scott Bobb reports More

African Small Farmers Could Be Key to Ending Food Insecurity

Experts say providing access to microloans, crop insurance, better storage facilities, irrigation, road systems and market information could enable greater production More

University of Michigan Wins Solar Car Race

Squad guided its student-designed solar-powered vehicle to fifth consecutive time victory in eight-day bi-annual American Solar Challenge More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Ross William from: Ukraine
July 06, 2014 1:28 PM
Absolutely lying about the Odessa massacre, where government employees, Governors, were part of the organized murder of 100+ civilians. Stop whitewashing war crimes.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelteri
X
Scott Bobb
July 30, 2014 8:16 PM
Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Gazans in Shelled School Sought Shelter

Israel's air and ground assault against Hamas-led fighters in Gaza has forced many Palestinians to flee their homes, seeking safety. But safe places are hard to find, as VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jabaliya.
Video

Video Rapid Spread of Ebola in West Africa Prompts Global Alert

Across West Africa, health officials are struggling to keep up with what the World Health Organization describes as the worst ebola outbreak on record. The virus has killed hundreds of people this year. U.S. President Barack Obama and other world leaders are watching the developments closely as they weigh what actions, if any, are needed to help contain the disease.
Video

Video Michelle Obama: Young Africans Need to Embrace Women's Rights

U.S. first lady Michelle Obama urged some of Africa's best and brightest to advocate for women's rights in their home countries. As VOA's Pam Dockins explains, Obama spoke to some 500 participants of the Young African Leaders Initiative, a six-week U.S.-based training and development program.
Video

Video Immigrant Influx on Texas Border Heats Up Political Debate

Immigrants from Central America continue to cross the U.S.-Mexico border in south Texas, seeking asylum in the United States, as officials grapple with ways to deal with the problem and provide shelter for thousands of minors among the illegal border crossers. As VOA's Greg Flakus reports from Houston, the issue is complicated by internal U.S. politics and U.S. relations with the troubled nations that immigrants are fleeing.
Video

Video Study: Latino Students Most Segregated in California

Even though legal school segregation ended in the United States 60 years ago, one study finds segregation still occurs in the U.S. based on income and race. The University of California Los Angeles Civil Rights Project finds that students in California are more segregated by race than ever before, especially Latinos. Elizabeth Lee reports for VOA from Los Angeles.
Video

Video Vietnamese Staging Chinese Product Boycott After Oil Rig Spat

China recently pulled an oil rig from an area of the disputed South China Sea that Vietnam also claims. Despite the action, the incident has had a lingering effect on consumers in Vietnam. VOA's Reasey Poch reports from Hanoi on an effort to boycott Chinese products.
Video

Video A Summer Camp for All the World

VIDEO: During workshops and social gatherings, the Global Youth Village summer camp encourages young people to cooperate and embrace their differences, while learning to communicate with people from other countries. VOA's Deborah Block has more.
Video

Video From Cantankerous Warlock to Incorruptible Priest, 'Harry Potter' Actor Embraces Diverse Roles

He’s perhaps best known as Mad Eye Moody, the whimsical wizard in the Harry Potter franchise. But character actor Brendan Gleeson's resume includes dozens of films, and he embraces all the characters he inhabits with equal passion. In an interview with VOA’s Penelope Poulou, Gleeson discussed his new drama "Calvary" and his secret to success.

AppleAndroid