Written and Photographed by: Aksenia Krikun UMDI Press Secretary
Ukraine will be visited by more than 1,500 foreign visitors from 100 countries and as a consequence, the important question is about the country's attractions such as landmarks and monuments which most clearly describe the unique history and culture of Ukraine for guests.
Despite the crisis, according to the World Tourism Organization for 2011, the number of trips in the world also increases. In many countries the global tourism industry accounts for 5% of world GDP, moreover, in some countries it is on the first place in GDP-production. So it is difficult to underestimate the importance of this sector for the economy despite the globalization, when people desire to travel and there is a wide range of international trips and prices.
Ukraine's tourist industry brings about half a percent of GDP per year with an 8%-rate of employment. Employment in this industry varies by region: in the central and northern regions of the country the percent can be small, while in Western Ukraine more than 30% of area residents are employed in tourism and in Crimea, where there are three tourists per capita, this percentage is even greater. Today, tourism in Ukraine is at the development stage, and Euro 2012 was the catalyst for those who made possible the improvement of infrastructure and travel solutions for visitors and citizens.
Speaking of geography, it is worth mentioning the development of western regions, and their jewel (not one, but one of the largest) - the city of Lviv, with its local authorities which actively develop and promote the brand of this city, where tourists can see the "little Europe"; enjoy delicious coffee and chocolate in Ukraine, visit brewery and do a lot of other “tourist-oriented” activities.
The capital also impressed their "euro" guests by its elegant appearance, the number of monuments and museums that are worth attention, green parks and churches. We don't need to mention the sights of Sophia Cathedral, St. Michael's Cathedral, squares, and Independence Square. There are far more places that aren't as famous but also beautiful in Kiev which should be also seen. To find out more about them, you can visit the website "Interesting Kyiv" and book a tour or visit on your own. There are also a lot of restaurants where the tourist can taste dishes from all around the world: Kyiv combines Italian, Georgian, Japanese, Korean and European cuisines. Also there is a huge number of hotels and apartments, accommodations, so tourists can feel very comfortable in Kyiv.
Another tourist area is Crimea - a "Mecca" of domestic tourists as well as many foreigners, offering its beaches, restaurants and rich nightlife. For those who like to spend holidays actively, there are always tours to Genoese fortress, an old part of Foros or the incredible palace "Lastivkove nest" or Livadia Palace. The Olyne village people, who love extreme style, you can try to go kite-surfing. Moreover, there are a lot of summer festivals of extreme sports which are held during the summer in Crimea. If you are diving enthusiasts - you can see a variety of marine fauna of the Crimean peninsula.
With such a huge number of places to visit, when the quantity and quality of offers and recreational species will satisfy even the most demanding visitors, Ukrainian tour operators offer to visit a number of historic towns, castles and fortresses. By the way, there are more than 10 historical and cultural monuments and more than 5 open-air museums in Ukraine. Moreover, “World Heritage List of UNESCO” includes 5 objects from Ukraine.
For "active" tourists there are cycle and kayak tours, hiking tours for the period from 3 days to 2 weeks to the Crimea or the Carpathian Mountains, horseback tours, and others. There is also Ukrainian "safari" which has been opened recently - you can “dive” there into the atmosphere of wildlife in the "real" terms - no open-air cages - just you and nature.
There are a number of offers from tour operators for single-day trips to different cities of Ukraine.
Those, who love "organic," or "green" tourism and nature can discover the rural tourism, which gives a possibility to go deeply into quiet countryside, learn about the traditions, crafts, interested in the fish pond and more. This type of tourism will provide you with spiritual pleasure, tranquility and a sense of unity with nature.
For "passive" tourists there will always be activities and resorts in the South or the West of Ukraine with the possibility of treatment or simply "lying" on the beach. Tourism in Ukraine is developing both geographically and qualitatively.
Ukraine has many places and "attractions" that can "catch" even the most demanding tourist.