Travel and Tourism in Ukraine: Key Trends and Opportunities to 2016

Ukraine welcomed over 21.9 million tourists in 2011, and Crimea and Kiev remain major tourist destinations in the country, attracting about 60% of tourists. Domestic and outbound trips decreased at a CAGR of -1.18% during the review period. However, as Ukraine co-hosted the UEFA Euro 2012 football championship with Poland, the government is keen to use this opportunity to develop the country’s tourism sector. The Ukrainian government’s initiatives to promote the tourism industry in the country are also expected to drive the sector, both in terms of volume and value.

Key indicators for the Ukrainian tourism industry

The contribution of the travel and tourism industry to Ukraine’s GDP decreased from 8.40% in 2007 to 7.4% in 2011. The decline is expected to continue in the forecast period, with the figure reaching 7.2% in 2016. Travel and tourism’s contribution to employment decreased from 7.4% in 2007 to 6.5% in 2011. It is expected to remain at 6.5% over most of the forecast period, with a marginal decline in 2016.

Domestic spending is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9.36% in the forecast period to reach US$7.2 billion in 2016. Business travel and tourism spending, with a CAGR of 13.76%, is expected to grow more quickly than leisure spending, which is likely to grow at a CAGR of 8.2% over the forecast period.

Positive signs in the forecast period

Following a steep decline of 18.3% in 2009, the number of inbound tourists registered an increase of 2% in 2010. According to the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), visitor exports in Ukraine were US$5.3 billion in 2011. Visitor exports declined in 2009 to US$4.2 billion, before recovering in 2010 to US$4.5 billion. Leisure, with a 95% share, remains the main purpose of travel for inbound tourists. Russia was the primary source country with 8.1 million tourists, followed by Moldova and Belarus with 4.2 million and 3.1 million tourists.

Domestic trips in Ukraine declined significantly during the review period. However, government initiatives to promote travel and tourism in the country, and increasing investment in the hotel industry are likely to have a positive impact over the forecast period. Outbound trips by residents decreased from 17.3 million in 2007 to 17.2 in 2010 owing to the global economic slowdown.

Steady growth in mean household income to spur growth in the forecast period

Mean household income, which recorded a decline of -35% in 2009 owing to the global economic slowdown, registered growth of 8.4% in 2010 with improving economic conditions. With GDP expected to grow at 3.5% over the forecast period, mean household income is expected to grow steadily over the next five years with a CAGR of 8.69%. The robust growth in mean household income is expected to stimulate growth in Ukrainian tourism.

Investments in the hotel industry are expected to increase in the forecast period

The Ukrainian government is creating a favorable business environment, offering substantial incentives to investors to promote tourism in the country. Ukraine’s participation at the International Hotel Investment Forum in Berlin is also expected to attract investors into the country.

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