The purpose of this paper is to examine the attractiveness of a global tourism destination when the country of that destination and the country that provides the source market are in a situation of political and economic conflict. In this study, the USA is the vacation destination, and Russia is the tourism generating region.
In May 2015, 18 Russian tourists from a large regional urban center participated in qualitative semi-structured interviews. The interviews took place in the situational context of strained bilateral relations between the USA and Russia over events in Ukraine, Crimea, and Donbass, as well as economic sanctions that had been in effect for almost a year at the time of the interviews.
Respondents expressed substantial interest in vacationing in the USA despite their strong disagreement with USA international policies. While domestic tourism offerings were evaluated as inferior to those of other international destinations, patriotic sentiments with respect to domestic tourism were registered.
Brand USA is still very attractive to the potential tourists, especially such components as major cities, entertainment, oceans, beaches and resorts, as well as the vastness of its national parks. The absence of information with respect to travel to USA was noticed by all respondents.
The study is conducted in a situation of ongoing conflict between the two countries and explores how the feelings of animosity toward the USA influence the desire of Russian tourists to vacation in the USA.
Stepchenkova, S. and Shichkova, E. (2017), "Attractiveness of the United States as a travel destination for the Russian tourist in the era of strained bilateral relations", International Journal of Tourism Cities, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 87-101. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJTC-10-2016-0047Download as .RIS
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