[IMG=20303-6061]Russian tour operators that work with hotels on Sardinia and Sicily upon allotment contracts faced the problem of the shortage of hotel rooms on the islands. The situation is especially tense on Sardinia where hotels are practically 100% booked. Travel market experts explain the current situation by the fact that this summer Italian tourists prefer resorts of their country, while last year they primarily chose Turkey and Egypt. Apparently, they followed the ‘European’ scenario influenced by negative information published in mass media – explosions in Dahab, bird flue etc.). However, on the background of high demand for the Italian Islands, continental Italy is experiencing drop in demand trying to attract tourists by hook or by crook.
According to travel market players, the main problem at the moment is impossibility of late bookings for Italian islands, while the demand is high for last-minute tour. Victor Sergeev, General Director of Tourparade, commented as follows: ‘Sardinian hoteliers keep rooms for two weeks – usual allotment period set for booking confirmation – but after not receiving a request from us, they sell rooms to individual clients, while we can do nothing as our tourists prefer to decide at the last moment!’. Meanwhile, guaranteed quotas are not a preferred way of partnership for Sardinia and Sicilian hoteliers in the situation of booming demand.
Travel market experts forecast the situation will not stabilize owing the increasing interest from Russian tourists. For example, Svetlana Bashkirtseva, General Director of Tris T, said: ‘August – usual holiday period for Italians – is marked with the most active bookings from Russian tourists’. Furthermore, Nelli Ionkina, General Director of Ital travel, added that the demand for the Italian island has increased in the Russian market because of the growing interest in more expensive and high quality resorts.
A BANKO correspondent found out that at the moment Russian tour operators are negotiating August sales with Italian hoteliers, believing personal contact might play the key role’.