Ukraine Prepares to Step on the Gas to Attract Tourists After the War Is Over


Ukraine to launch campaign for international tourists. They promise adequate infrastructure, hotels and tourist support services.

Launch IndependentTuesday (5/3/2024), ahead of the Internationale Tourismus Borse (ITB) Berlin 2024 event, the Chairman of the Ukrainian Tourism Development Agency said that tourism would be an important part of post-war recovery.

“We welcome our guests if they do not come with weapons. Every money people spend in Ukraine will help economic recovery,” said Mariana Oleskiv.



“We now have a thriving Ukrainian brand that is well known all over the world. However, it is not related to tourism. People think about Ukraine perhaps about courage, about war, about destruction. So they see an image that Ukraine looks like Mariupol, for example ,” he said.

He said that Ukraine has 20-30 percent of the occupied territory. However, other areas according to him are very beautiful. He also promoted Ukraine as having good services, good hotels and adequate internet coverage.

“We need to create interest in Ukraine not just as a person you support and pity but also a country you want to support by visiting. We don’t know when. We don’t know if it will happen this year, or next year or two years, ” he explained.

“We have time to prepare, to have plans even though at the moment these plans are delayed. But we know how to act from the moment Ukraine’s borders and Ukraine’s skies reopen,” he continued.

The Russia – Ukraine war has been going on since February 2022. This stopped all tourism activities from abroad to Ukraine. However, Oleskiv said Ukrainians still go on holiday.

“We still have tourism – domestic tourism in Ukraine. And this is something that helps us also to cope with everything that is happening in our country,” he added.

“We have cafes, bars, restaurants, that are working. We have hotels that are open and actually during last winter, when we had power outages, often the hotels were places where people could grab a bite to eat, recharge their phones because they all have generators,” he explained.

Ukrainians travel with families to safer destinations, such as the Carpathian mountains, in west-central Ukraine.

Despite trying to promote it, he said visitors from abroad must keep their distance until the war ends.

“Not now. We don’t invite anyone now for various reasons. First of all, logistics are very complicated. And insurance companies don’t cover risks in Ukraine. So even if you catch a cold somewhere in Ukraine that is not related to the war, it “It won’t be covered by most insurance companies. So we’re not inviting anyone here,” he said.

Last month, within six weeks of the ceasefire, Ryanair renewed its promise to carry out large-scale air operations in three major tourist cities, namely Kyiv, Lviv and Odessa.

Before the Russian invasion, these three cities attracted the majority of international visitors to Ukraine. However, the country wants to diversify.

“In 2021 while there was still Covid we developed a new tourist route to the Carpathian mountains for tourists from Saudi Arabia. They really liked it. We have very nice resorts there, green with lots of rain, good weather. And we have plans to in 2022 to double the number of tourists,” he said.

“But of course Russia started a war and we can’t do this,” he lamented.

Chernobyl, the site of a nuclear reactor explosion in 1986, was one of the main attractions for visitors before the Russian invasion. However, Oleskiv said that the place would be closed for the time being.

“There was a Russian invasion through that area. It was mined so they couldn’t enter again,” he concluded.

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