Kiev, Aug 5, 2013. On average, a tourist visiting Ukraine in 2012 spent little over USD 200. This is the absolute lowest among the 20 most popular tourist destinations,
according to the UN World Tourism Organization. Comparably, a trip to Macau cost more than USD 3,200- 16 times more expensive than Ukraine. Other cheap destinations are Russia (amount spent per head- USD 435) and Saudi Arabia (USD 540).
In 2012, 23 million tourists visited Ukraine. This number makes Ukraine number 12 most visited country in the world. According to the UNWTO, France is the global leader in attracting tourists. The 66 million country attracted 83 million tourists, reports bbc.co.uk. The U.S., Spain, China, and Italy make up the top five most visited countries in the world. Turkey, Germany, the UK, Malaysia, Russia, and Austria precede Ukraine on the UNWTO list.
The total amount of money spent by tourists in Ukraine over 2012 reached USD 4.8 billion. Most money were spent by the guests of the U.S. (total spending - more than USD 126 billion). In 2012, Ukraine ranked number 47 among the top earning tourist destinations, according to the International Tourism Receipts table by the international organization. In 2011, the Eastern European country took the 49th spot.
Notably, in 2012, Ukraine demonstrated one of the highest receipts growth by an emerging economy - 13 percent, reported UNWTO in May 2013. Overall, international tourism receipts grew by four percent in 2012, reports the organization. Interestingly, in 2012 Ukraine co-hosted the UEFA European Football Championship EURO 2012 together with neighboring Poland. The competition attracted hundreds of thousands of football fans. Moreover, the international sports event prompted numerous infrastructure improvements - complete with four new airports in major cities and hundreds of new hotels, - making Ukraine more attractive for tourists. Following the championship, the country was listed among the top 10 destinations for 2013 by six international tourism ratings, including Globe Spots, National Geographic, Trip Advisor, and Lonely Planet. Just in May 2013, Smarter Travel portal listed Ukraine as top place to visit while it’s still cheap.
While Kiev offers spectacular city tours, during which its guests visit such World Heritage sites as Saint Sophia Cathedral and Kiev Pechersk Lavra - complete with the tour around the ancient monastery’s caves, - Lviv has its own amazing attractions. Lviv’s historic center is one of Ukraine’s World Heritage sites, protected by UNESCO. Just in June 2013, the western Ukrainian city became the number 1 destination in the Top 10 European Cities to See Now list by the VirtualTourist.
Rich historical heritage as well as the UEFA European Football Championship EURO 2012 attracted tourists to the Eastern European country in 2012. Cultural wealth, the warmth of the people, and the fact that travelers can live large for under USD 50 a day lure the tourists in, reckons Smarter Travel’s Christine Sarkis. Just like UNWTO, the popular tourism portal highlighted Ukraine’s tourist potential. In the website’s rating Ukraine became number one destination to visit while it’s still cheap.
While the capital city Kiev remains one of the most expensive places to visit in Ukraine, its other gems, like western cities of Lviv and Kamianets Podilskyi, offer cheap accommodation and meals. Comparably, a night at Kiev’s hotel will cost about USD 100, while Lviv offers decent lodging for USD 50. Lunch in the Ukrainian capital will cost about USD 15, in Lviv - 7. (c) WNU- Ukraine