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How the Russian - Ukrainian war changed the face of luxury tourism in Italy

There is no doubt that the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict had repercussions on many economic sectors of all the countries of the European area, one of which was undoubtedly tourism in all its sub-categories. First of all: luxury tourism.

The face of luxury tourism in Italy has changed not only in the size of the business but also in its dynamics that mark the choice of destination as well as reservations, arrivals and payments. So let's explore some aspects of how the Russian - Ukrainian war changed the face luxury tourism in Italy through the analysis of three major pillars of this sector. 

Arrivals: the blocking of direct Russia-Europe flights increases indirect arrivals via Dubai and Istanbul 

One of the first measures taken by the Italian and European governments at the outbreak of the war was to block flights to and from Russia. Hence the almost immediate growth of new routes that still manage to bring Russian luxury tourism to our country.

Dubai and Istanbul are among the major cities through which the transit of Russian passengers to Europe takes place; on the one hand by discouraging the choice of Europe as destination, as it is more complex to reach, but on the other hand, allowing the arrival of customers, however, also favoring new intermediate destinations in which new economic flows have been created.

The blocking of flights therefore remains a controversial issue in balance between ethics and economics. 

Payments: The blocking of Russian payments increases transactions in crypto currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum 

Another of the most substantial measures taken by Europe towards Russia was the freezing of payments to and from the country, creating important consequences both on the Russian side and on the Italian and European side. The vast world of crypto currencies thus enters the scene in an even more preponderant way; a market that is already increasingly vast and widespread on a global level. The world of Russian luxury moves its payments to Bitcoin, Ethereum and other crypto currencies in order to continue making payments to Europe. The large European tour operators, whose core business operates in the luxury sector, are getting closer to the world of cryptocurrencies, where today more and more substantial capital relating to the tourism business is moving. If it will be a growing trend even after the hoped-for end of the Russian - Ukrainian conflict, we will see it in the near future!


Entry procedures: the risk of blocking travelers' visas puts the destination "Italy" at risk 

Currently, Russian travelers wishing to enter Italy for tourism have the opportunity to apply for a visa, which is mandatory for entry into Italy. This at the moment still makes it possible for Russian tourists to enter our country through the new routes, still allowing, albeit with the difficulties that have arisen, a certain development of tourist services with the related economic movements that contribute to the functioning of the Russian tourism sector in Italy. Should a visa block be issued to Russian travelers for political reasons, there is no doubt that the entire "destination Italy" would undergo a complete closure to the Russian tourist market with even more serious economic consequences. 

Surely Russian luxury tourism in Italy has undergone a reduction and major changes over the last few months and will continue to change in line with the fate of the international situation.

It will therefore be up to the operators in the tourism sector to know how to change and choose in order to adapt to the uncertain presence of the Russian market that has played a crucial role in the Italian luxury tourism economy for years.


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