On the 18th March 2014, it was announced that the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea would unify with the Russian Federation a er a winning “yes” vote in the referendum. Since then, tourism in Crimea has collapsed. In two years, the number of visitors has dropped from six million to less than three million, according to western media. Meanwhile, local press states that more than 6 million tourists have visited the area this year alone. For Ukrainians and the Crimean Tatars, the tourism industry is now a thing of the past. Building sites that had been started before the referendum took place have since been stopped and le abandoned all along the Crimean coast. President Vladimir Putin has moved to restart tourism in Crimea by introducing nancial aid to the Russian community, and by o ering cheap, all-inclusive holiday packages to Russians tourists as an incentive to visit. This in turn could be helped by the construction of a 19km-long bridge that will link Crimea to the mainland by 2019, and already scores of seaside adverts can be seen plastered all over bill- boards. “Investing your rubles in Crimea is a sure bet,” says Martina Cravcova, an estate agent manager in Ayu-Dag. A white, blue and red flag flies from all public buildings and now features on all car registration plates. The atmosphere has completely changed, especially now that Moscow is keeping the peninsula under surveillance yet again and has reintroduced security measures. Zhenya, a Ukrainian woman from Simferopol, testifies that old practices, such as giving up your own neighbours to the authorities, are reemerging now that Crimea belongs to Russia. But sixty two year later Crimea was transferred to the Ukraine, the Russian community can be found relaxing along the Lenin Embankment in Yalta. Street artists and entertainers delight the crowds, while children are having a field day eating their favourite ice creams, and the Russian national anthem could well be the hit of the summer.


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