Anna Romanova: “Visa-free regime is not a panacea; we must build a successful country here”
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As for the visa-free regime, I would like to voice some, perhaps unpopular, but honest things.

The side effects of the visa-free regime:

– an even greater illegal migration of hardworking and young talented Ukrainians;

– reduction of incomes from the development of domestic tourism;

– disappointment.

Now let’s have a more detailed look. Regarding the activation of illegal migration. Even today, Ukraine is going through a socio-demographic crisis: there are no more than 32 million Ukrainians left. These are predominantly hard-working and talented young people that leave Ukraine. Although these are tourists visas that are going to be abolished, nevertheless, under the guise of “tourists” workers will go to the West en masse. This might lead to an even greater imbalance of demographic groups in Ukraine. Even now there are almost two pensioners per one working Ukrainian, and the trends are disappointing.

As for the decrease in incomes from tourism. Here everything is simple: we need to create and realize our own national tourist product, instead of letting money leak from the country. Hardly had our tourism industry begun to develop, when it faced one more challenge. Families have a certain amount of money to spend on vacation and traveling. Even if there were enough means, very often the need for visa was an obstacle for a spontaneous holiday in Europe. When there was a holiday – people would travel Ukraine and leave their money here. And now Ukrainians will unconsciously contribute to a further development of the European countries’ economies.

Given that Ukrainians already spend about $6 billion abroad annually – with the visa free regime this figure can reach $10 billion. Due to what? Due to the money the Ukrainian tourist industry will fail to receive.

And finally the most philosophical category – the disappointment. Who can be disappointed? For example, those who will be stopped at the airport of a European country upon their arrival; some local employee will request documents confirming solvency, and then, on the basis of his/her subjective opinion, will send the people back. In this case no one will make compensation. Neither the tour operator, nor the travel agency, nor the airlines, because the service was rendered, the hotel was booked. And this is exclusively the right of the host country to let you in or not.

Anna Romanova
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