Ukraine Tourism

Sector outlook

Ukraine has a diverse portfolio of tourism assets: attractive landscapes, major historical and cultural sites, mountains in Crimea and the Carpathians, coastal areas on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, etc.

In 2011, foreign tourist arrivals were about 21 million, with CIS countries accounting for 63% of this amount and EU countries for 33%. The sector’s contribution to GDP is around 2%. The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) forecasts a 4% annual growth in the sector’s contribution to GDP by 2022.

In preparation for UEFA European Football Championship 2012, significant investments were made in transport (USD 7.6 billion), hotel (USD 3.2 billion) and sport (USD 1.1 billion) infrastructure to reinforce the country’s capacity to host the expected number of foreign visitors. However, Ukraine’s small and bigger cities still lack international standard hotels and tourism services.

Strategic direction / specific schemes and incentives

Ukraine took several steps to boost its tourism sector:

  • Elimination of visa requirements with the EU, Switzerland, Canada, USA, Japan, etc; 
  • Full tax exemption for hotel developers until 1 January 2021; 
  • Additional incentives provided by State and/ or local authorities (in Crimea especially) if the project is considered strategic.

Regarded as a useful source of income for local communities, tourism is also the focus of international organisations active in Ukraine:

  • EU-funded Crimean Tourism Diversification and Support Project (CTDSP): diversification of the tourism product and improvement of the services in Crimea and Sevastopol; 
  • USAID LINC initiative: support to the establishment of a Tourist Information Center in Crimea, etc.

Business opportunities

  • National project Olympic Hope 2022 (pre-feasibility studies, partner search and investment support): construction of the Olympic infrastructure (State budget) and major tourist facilities (private investment) enabling Ukraine to host the Winter Olympic Games 2022; 
  • Hospitality: international standard hotels and apartments for rent in major and smaller cities; 
  • Sea tourism in the South: development of resorts and water sports; 
  • Mountain tourism: tourism facilities, mountaineering activities, new ski resorts like Bukovel, supply of equipment, etc.; 
  • Health and spa tourism in Crimea and the Carpathians;  
  • Cultural and eco-tourism;  
  • Catering: Ukrainian and international restaurants in major and smaller cities, catering services for international events.

Some success stories

Wyndham Hotel (USA), the world's largest and most diverse hotel company, plans to launch 15 three-star ‘Ramada Encore’ hotels in Kyiv and cities with over 200,000 people by 2018, in cooperation with Ukrainian real estate developer DeVision. The first hotel opened in Kiev on Stolychne Shosse in 2012. The total investment for the development of 15 Ramada Encore hotels could exceed USD 150 million. Wyndham Hotel also has a hotel in Donetsk in under its Ramada brand.

TUI (Germany), Europe’s leading travel group, opened several agencies in Ukraine in 2010, in joint venture with Russia’s S-Group Capital Management. Some offices are also operated by its Ukrainian franchisee Voyage Kiev since 2009.

Useful links and contacts

Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Invest Ukraine

European Business Association

This publication has been produced with the financial assistance of the European Union. The contents of this publication are the sole responsibility of EUROCHAMBRES and can in no way be taken to reflect the views of the European Union.

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