Tourism in Ukraine suffered a major blow as a result of its invasion by Russia. One year after the invasion, the country finds a silver lining.
More than a year has passed since Russia invaded Ukraine and the aftereffects of the destruction left by the invasion still remain. The Ukraine-Russia war has had ripple effects on the global tourism economy. As a result of the invasion, Ukraine, and its tourism sector suffered gravely, from loss of life to loss of infrastructure. However, after a year into the conflict, Ukraine is finally beginning to see some bright spots.
Table of Contents
Tourism in Ukraine
As of yet, tourism in Ukraine is quite limited as international air travel remains closed. However, entry and exit by land are allowed, with checkpoints on the border with Slovakia, Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Hungry open and safe. The checkpoints with Belarus, Transnistria, and Russia however remain closed. When visiting the country, you need to carry a valid passport, citizens of Georgia, and Turkey can enter on the basis of an ID card, entry visa, residence permit, and health insurance policy.
It is also strongly recommended to take out medical insurance covering military risks for the entire stay in Ukraine. This policy guarantees monetary compensation in the event of an accident caused as a result of terrorist acts, and passive military risks.
Ukraine is also slowing a gradual increase in domestic travel, especially in the Western region. However, as wars do, the invasion of Ukraine has taken its toll on the physical and mental health of the citizens. Many are afraid to leave their homes, and the thought of travel and recreation seems like an alien concept. In an interview, Mariana Oleskiv, chair of Ukraine’s State Agency for Tourism Development addressed tourism in Ukraine and said:
“A lot of people in Ukraine still don’t feel it’s OK to go on vacation or travel,”
In another interview, the chairperson said that there is more to Ukraine than war.
“People associate war with Ukraine right now. It is important to keep another image of Ukraine: that of a well-developed country with a good infrastructure and with a lot of things to do. We have huge tourism potential and a rich culture and rich history. With the world looking at Ukraine, we want to tell that story now.”
“We are now preparing a campaign to attract people to Ukraine after the war,” she said. “We want tourists to support our country by coming here to spend their money. That way they can [directly] support Ukrainians and tell them: thank you for bravely fighting for democracy and stopping the evil terrorist state of Russia.”
“The western part of Ukraine has not been touched much by the war. The eastern and southern parts have seen a lot of destruction, and, after liberation, they will need new resorts and hotels, especially by the seaside.”
Ukraine’s State Agency for Tourism Development and its citizens are praying for a better future, a prosperous future. Despite part of their homeland being invaded, and some of it destroyed, their spirits are stronger than ever. The resilience of Ukrainians and their stubbornness to give up on their country is what’s helping Ukraine stand back on its feet again.
Tourism in Ukraine – Preparation Before Embarking
Before you embark on your tour to Ukraine take into consideration the following aspects.
- Before traveling, check if your country’s embassy has continued work in the territory of Ukraine. Make sure to write down the address and contact of the embassy.
- Remember to make electronic copies of your documents and store them on your device.
- Find out the curfew time of the region in Ukraine you are visiting.
- Keep in mind that an air raid can happen in any region of the country so be ready for the sound of air alarms. Download the Air Raid app on your phone in order to receive instant air raid alerts.
- Try to find a hotel that has a bomb shelter on the premises or has one nearby.
- Make sure to give your relatives and loved ones a detailed itinerary of your trip.
Tourism in Ukraine – The Department of State Advisory
Due to the unpredictable security situation in Ukraine, the Department of State has labeled Ukraine a level 4 “do not travel” threat. The Department of State continues to advise the citizens of the United States against travel to Ukraine due to active armed conflict.
“The security situation in Ukraine remains unpredictable. U.S. citizens in Ukraine should stay vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. Know the location of your closest shelter or protected space. In the event of mortar, missile, drone, or rocket fire, follow instructions from local authorities and seek shelter immediately. If you feel your current location is no longer safe, you should carefully assess the potential risks involved in moving to a different location.”
“Although Russia’s ongoing war against Ukraine severely restricts the Embassy’s access and ability to provide services, the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Kyiv continue to remotely provide certain emergency consular services to U.S. citizens in Crimea as well as four other Ukrainian oblasts partially occupied by Russia – Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia – to the extent possible given security conditions.” The Department of State
Tourism in Ukraine – Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO)
The FCDO strongly advises British nationals against travel to Ukraine, due to safety concerns. Travel against FCDO advice can result in invalidation of travel insurance. The British nationals in Ukraine are advised to leave as soon as possible.
Visiting 8 Must-See Places in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone
Even though Ukraine is not completely safe to visit as of yet, the situation is gradually improving, despite most of us, including the authorities thinking that the conflict can escalate any minute. However, when the country is safe to tour, the first place that you must visit is the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone. The place will give you a peek into what might happen to the world if corruption and malpractice continues.