Trip under the Christmas tree
There is still a month and a half before the New Year holidays, and there are almost no free places left in many popular winter resorts for Russians. However, if you look hard enough, you can find a budget tour. MK found out where in our country and abroad you can relax during the Christmas holidays and how much this pleasure will cost.
Traditionally, in November there is increased activity in booking New Year's trips to ski resorts. However, this season, due to New Year's arrivals, there is a huge demand for tours around Russia. As Daria Domostroeva, PR director of the Intourist company, explained to MK, places in top hotels in Sochi, Krasnaya Polyana, Mineralnye Vody, Elbrus and other ski resorts are running out. For example, rooms in fashionable hotels in Krasnaya Polyana were booked back in August-September. At the resorts of the Sochi mountain cluster, apartments are the fastest to get up to speed. The cost of a week-long tour to Krasnaya Polyana without taking into account the road with a stopover for the New Year will be from 89,869 rubles. for two. “In addition, the significantly increased exchange rate of the dollar and euro has led to an increase in the cost of tours abroad. And for many, traveling to sunny Thailand or the UAE has become unaffordable. Let me remind you that a year ago the dollar exchange rate was around 67 rubles,” the expert added.
As last year, tours to the resorts of Karachay-Cherkessia (Arkhyz, Dombay and Elbrus region) are selling well. There are already few places left here for the New Year. Local hotels generally have a small number of rooms, which are usually purchased in advance. According to Domostroeva, active bookings for the New Year period began here in October – a month earlier than a year ago. If you search hard, you can still buy a tour on the slopes of Elbrus from 48,478 rubles. for two excluding travel.
Demand for Sheregesh has also increased. Tourists began purchasing vouchers to this ski resort in the Kemerovo region in the summer. It is no coincidence that a number of tour operators have arranged tours from Moscow and other large cities to Novokuznetsk in advance on the basis of charter transportation. As reported by the Fun&Sun press service, accommodation in Sheregesh for 6 nights in a 2* hotel room, without meals, will cost 1 person during the January holidays from 28 thousand rubles. For seven nights in a local hotel without stars, two adults need to get 31.6 thousand rubles out of their wallet.
Among the increasingly popular domestic winter destinations, Konstantin Gulevich, director of the department of communications, external relations and information policy of the tour operator Anex, singled out Solnechnaya Dolina (Chelyabinsk region). This resort is an infrastructure complex that includes hotels, a spa center, leisure activities, bars and restaurants. The cost of a one-week ski tour for two adults on a half board basis here starts from 80 thousand rubles.
According to Gulevich, Turkish Sarykamis and Erzurum are in demand among foreign ski resorts. A week-long tour in December with departure from Moscow (including breakfast) for two adults costs from 141 thousand rubles. Also in demand are the Italian Alps (even in the absence of direct transportation), resorts in Serbia (Kapaonik), Armenia (Tsakhkadzor), Azerbaijan (Shakhdag) and Georgia (Bakuriani, Gudauri, Kazbegi).
As the press service of Fun&Sun said, a 5-night tour at the Shahdag resort with departure from Moscow on December 30 for two will cost from 163 thousand rubles. (without meals), for 7 nights – 202 thousand rubles. For an organized trip for two for 7 nights to the resort of Tsaghkadzor with departure from Moscow you will have to pay from 115 thousand rubles, and for a trip for two with accommodation for 7 nights in a 3* hotel in the resort of Kapaonik from December 24 (without flights, HB) — from 160 thousand rubles. Due to the high cost of flights to a ski resort in Serbia, demand has decreased compared to last year.
Among the interesting new products are combined tours to South Korea (ski + excursion). But, given the specifics of the destination and the cost of the flight, this is more suitable for lovers of exotic things.
If we talk about beach resorts, the UAE is the top seller for the New Year, where most tourists prefer Dubai, Domostroeva noted. In addition, Egypt remains popular, and demand for Thailand and Sri Lanka is growing. “Demand for the latter at the end of October doubled compared to September against the backdrop of news that visas for Russians to the island of Ceylon have become free, which means that the costs of the trip itself are lower,” the expert explained.
According to Konstantin Gulevich, the cost of week-long tours in the UAE in a 3* hotel starts from 145 thousand rubles, in Egypt in a 4* hotel on an all-inclusive basis – from 163 thousand. The price of a 10-night tour in Thailand (on the basis of breakfast , hotel 3*) with New Year's Eve starts from 385 thousand rubles. In Sri Lanka, the cost of a tour for a week with accommodation in a 3* hotel on a breakfast basis is from 266 thousand. For the pleasure of 11 days to warm your bones on the Cuban beach of a 4* hotel on an all-inclusive basis, you will have to pay from 392 thousand rubles. The cost of the above vouchers includes: direct flight from Moscow, accommodation for two adults, transfer and medical insurance.
In conclusion of the review, we add that Russians are also eagerly buying up Christmas two- and three-day excursion tours to Moscow (with a visit to Krasnaya square, VDNKh) and St. Petersburg (with visits to museums and the Nutcracker ballet). Another popular family holiday destination is Veliky Ustyug: a two-day trip to the homeland of Father Frost by train from Moscow can be inexpensive; a tour per person costs from 23.1 thousand rubles.