The Sea of Azov is a traditional vacation destination for millions of Ukrainians, especially from the industrial centers of the east. However, the region is not taking full advantage of its potential. The sector is concentrated on the “sun and sand” model of beach tourism that has a limited season and geography.

USAID Economic Resilience Activity (ERA) aims to help Sea of Azov communities from Mariupol in Donetsk Oblast to Henichesk in Kherson Oblast to expand the range of tourism products and locations offered, in this way extending the season, bringing tourists to communities beyond the beach, and increasing employment and economic impact from the sector.

Towards this goal ERA is supporting development of a unified Sea of Azov brand that can be advertised across Ukraine and abroad, and which diverse SMEs can use to associate themselves with this exciting region. The Activity will engage influencers, artists, travel bloggers and others to help raise awareness of the Sea of Azov brand. USAID ERA is helping stakeholders from across the Sea of Azov region to develop a roadmap for sector development.

ERA is also organizing diverse trainings for tourism SMEs in product development and global best practices to ensure that there are quality destinations in the region. New tourism products center the rich ethnic mosaic of the region, the fascinating landscape of “Stone Tomb” and long sand spits that reach into the sea, and the untapped potential for health and conference tourism.