In Slovenia, an EU Member State, hotels are reporting a 20% drop in numbers of Russian tourists. Russians make up around 6% of tourists to Slovenia, but are reputed to spend more per head than other nationalities.
The director of the Lifeclass Hotel Group, Janez Jager said: “Since March this year, we have recorded a drop in numbers of Russian visitors, which is a result of the weakening rouble, as well as the crisis in Ukraine, which is getting worse at the moment.”
Russian tourists have flocked to Slovenia in recent years, attracted by the well-developed tourist infrastructure, the Mediterranean climate, the mud baths, beaches and thermal springs.
Restaurant owner Franc Svegl commented: “Of course we are afraid of sanctions. Russians are very good guests. They are always welcome, and we believe that EU sanctions will have a negative effect on bookings and also on their spending when they arrive.”
Slovenia joined the EU in 2004. Last month, the EU froze five state-controlled Russian banks out of its capital markets in measures aimed at hitting Russia’s financial industry, prompting fears of inflation and possibly recession in Russia.