OJ On Location In Ukraine: A Destination With Untapped Potential

By Peter Johansen

Gregg Truman

Gregg Truman says if North Americans understood all Ukraine has to offer, they’d be apt to make it the ‘Next Big Destination.’ To speed along that understanding, he left YYZ Wednesday with five travel media in tow for a jam-packed visit to Kyiv, Lviv and Chernobyl.  Open Jaw is part of the pack and will update readers over the next week on what makes him so pumped about the destination.

“Canadians are educated and aware travellers but they don’t know Ukraine,” says Truman, the North American manager of Ukraine International Airlines. “They wonder, ‘What’s it all about?’”

He gave Open Jaw his answers: 

  • A rich history
  • Cultural attractions from historic cathedrals to opera houses 
  • Culinary achievements that go well beyond borscht and potatoes 
  • Quaint towns and big city nightlife
  • Mountains and beaches
  • River cruising
  • Extensive knowledge of English in the world’s most literate population for its size
  • A stable but affordable economy
  • Chernobyl, which he says is “one of the most remarkable things I have ever seen”

Flash Flight Sale This Weekend – YYZ-KBP Return From $415

Since June there has been non-stop service from Ukraine International Airlines from YYZ three times weekly, aboard a Boeing 767 offering three classes of service.  All-inclusive return fare is $1,189 – but there’s a promotional campaign scheduled for this weekend only that cuts the tab to as low as $415 return. The airline offers booking commissions.

Truman says travel agents are an important element in helping to develop Ukraine’s tourism potential, explaining it this way: 

“I look at Ukraine as the equivalent of marketing Africa.  Few Canadians will book Africa on their own.  They don’t know where to go, how to get there, what safari to take, all the rest of it.  They’ll use a travel agent.  Because they don’t know Ukraine, they’ll use a travel agent there too.  Promote it, market it, and make a lot of money.”

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