No to half-naked tourists
Recently, a boom in tourism to Abkhazia became highly likely after Turkish and Egyptian beaches were closed to Russians and the sharp drop of the Ruble and other currencies in post-soviet states made vacationing to resorts in other countries too expensive.
Indeed, at present the preparatory work is underway at full speed-new hotels are being constructed, old ones are being renovated and new tourist routes are being developed.
But it seems that somebody at the top has decided that Abkhazia will not be able to cope with such a flood of tourists. There are jams on the roads at the border with Russia and on local roads, and besides this, tourists are to be provided with food, drinks and are to be smarmed. Then, they’ll still say that they had a terrible time. Do we really want to go to all this trouble?
This is like when a prudent housewife, who has invited guests for a supper-party and has laid the table for “x number of persons. Suddenly, her husband tells her that the number of guests would be twice more than expected. Crying hysterically, “We will embarass ourselves!, she begins calling the guests and cancelling the supper-party using various excuses, not paying attention at all to her husband’s protest.
As it seems, the Abkhaz Parliament has decided to play the role of hostess, unwilling to fail. On April 1, for its first course of action, based on the Foreign Ministry’s initiative, it introduced new visa policies for citizens from post-soviet countries. Naturally, this excluded Russia.
Following this, the parliament cocluded that the aforementioned measure was not enough to considerably reduce the flow of tourists. It started staunchly regulating tourists’ dress-code, this time without political oversight. So, it doesn’t matter who it is, whether it be a Ukrainian, Belarusian, Kazakh or Russian, who appears “in indecent clothing-wearing, for a example a bathing suit or being shirtless, will cause one to have to pay a fine equal to five times the minimum wage.
The official motives of these initiatives are quite serious. The visa regulations have been changed based on issues of security. In the parliament’s opinion, the introduction of a dress-code will reinforce moral foundations.
When MPs think about security and the society’s moral image in this way-the temptation appears to direct their energy into other fields. Now all this pseudo-patriotic nonsense is being actively discussed in the media beyond Abkhazia’s borders and has become a so-called ‘anti-promotion’ of Abkhazian resorts. In addition to this, it seems to me that these two decisions have taken precedence over the most important issues-the state’s security standards and the society’s basic moral principles.
Abkhazia, selling itself as a large resort, obtains a considerable share of revenues from these tourists. The introduction of “face-scanners upon entrance into the country and a “dress-code does not strengthen of the country’s security and morality. It means just the opposite.
All these restrictive measures make Abkhazia less attractive for tourists. Consequently, reduction of the number of tourists will have a boomerang effect on the budget and particularly, on ordinary citizens’ incomes. When a country is poor and its citizens are hungry–herein lies misfortune. The best that can happen will be people dancing jig or singing an ode; the worst is that they will go knocking on people’s doors asking for money. Hustling, too? It’s not me but you that has mentioned that.
Published on: 15. 04. 2016