MAY 2016 - KIEV, UKRAINE – With the Ukrainian conflict continuing in the east of the country, Ukraine continues to see the negative impact on its tourism industry.
To assist the local tourism recovery, a start-up company named Ukraine Video Guide (UVG) has launched an ambitious video-based project to support both recreational and business travel to Ukraine.
The website, ukrainevideoguide.com, highlights short video clips on restaurants, nightclubs, beaches, attractions, cafes, lodging, and shopping in the major cities of Ukraine.
To date, the website boasts nearly 140 videos in total – typically averaging 3 minutes in duration, allowing viewers to pick and choose the content they want to watch.
Kyle Williams, spokesman for UVG, explained “the concept of the website came to us during one of our trips to Ukraine where the lack of up-to-date and accurate information that existed for many of the cities in Ukraine become very apparent.”
“Trying to find out about nightlife in Poltava, dining in Kharkiv or dating ideas in Nikolaev was very frustrating. Conversely, trying to narrow down dining options in Kiev where over 1,000 restaurants exist is not easy.”
“The goal of our website is to show potential visitors how many things there are to do in this beautiful country and to concurrently educate, entertain, and engage the viewer with high quality visual content. The result is planning a trip becomes much more efficient and much more fun at the same time.”
A vast majority of the content is free on the site, including over two hours of free video content. To help cover the costs of the project, UVG charges a modest fee for a 6 month subscription to watch their “VIP-Insider” videos covering “best of” videos, dining reviews, travel tips, things to do, and some of the nightlife videos.
Initially the site is focusing on 14 cities throughout the country with over 25 videos each already available on Kiev, Odessa, and Lviv.
To further aid travelers, customized interactive locator maps are available for many cities to show where the suggested dining, nightlife and lodging is located.
Ukraine Video Guide has ramped up its service capabilities to further aid potential travelers, especially first-timers to the country. Both pre-trip planning as well as in-country services are available ranging from itinerary planning to concierge style services. UVG’s network of in-country hosts allows for multi-city trip support.
Historically Ukraine has had a robust tourism market ranking 9th largest of the European countries in terms of annual arrivals in 2013, according to the World Tourism Organization. Unfortunately, its estimated that the arrivals in 2014 will be down by 70% from 24.6 million to 7.5 million arrivals according to Business Monitor International.
BMI estimates that tourism related receipts for 2014 will be reduced by a $1 billion USD.
Despite the crisis, Ukraine should continue to benefit from various forms of tourism including those with ancestral ties. Data from Wikipedia sources estimate that there are up to 10 million people living abroad with Ukrainian roots, excluding Russia with up to another 4 million. The latest U.S. census had over 900,000 people claim Ukrainian ancestry in the U.S. alone (according to Brama.com).
Mr. Williams further elaborated “Ukraine is on sale, with many retailers and hotels offering discounts up to 70%. We offer a great platform for travel agencies, tour groups, hotels, and apartment owners to advertise and gain exposure to potential travelers to Ukraine. To aid in the recovery we are offering some fantastic advertising rates to those that support the Ukrainian travel industry”.
A short introduction video about the website can be found on the homepage at www.ukrainevideoguide.com