Dear Subscriber,

With oil prices historically low (less than 30$ a barrel), Russia along with most other oil dependent economies, is suffering. The free floating Rouble plunged to new lower rates and reached 86 Roubles to the Euro. This is however, likely to encourage domestic production and finally help the economy become less dependent on oil in the medium term. However, in the short term it is not great news for the travel industry and relatively speaking it is becoming more expensive for Russians to travel abroad, especially when the government is encouraging you to stay at home.

However, this will affect the mass market, more than the luxury market and the incentive market more than the meetings segments. It will mean that hotels will have to rethink their pricing policy for the Russian market and there will be more interest in non-oil related markets, especially Ukraine and Georgia, as they are also likely to gain visa free access to Europe in the near future.

With all the economic turmoil much of it emerging from China, what is sure is that no company or destination, should totally rely on just one market, as it is too high risk, but they should spread themselves across a number of markets. For this reason, we encourage 4-5* hotels, DMCs and regions to sign up for participation in the B2B Luxury & MICE Workshop in Almaty on April 12th and Baku on April 14th, by 1st of Feb, by confirming their participation online www.B2Btravelworkshop.com. We also look forward to seeing our Greek colleagues on the 1st of February, in Athens, where TMI under the auspices of the Tourism Committee of the Hellenic Greek Chamber will hold a presentation on the real situation in the Russian & CIS markets and the opportunities for Greece at the Electra Palace Hotel in Athens.

Hope to see you there and Kali kronya! 

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