Mar 13 2019

Turkey to attract more Russian tourists, minister says

Turkish hoteliers will attract more Russian tourists this year as the country cements itself as the main source of visitors to Turkey, said Firuz Bağlıkaya, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).

The number of visitors from Russia is expected to increase by 10-15 percent this year to surpass 6 million, Bağlıkaya said, according to Karar newspaper. Some 5.9 million people from Russia took holidays in Turkey last year, he said.

Tourists from Russia and the Middle East are becoming increasingly important for Turkey’s travel industry, with growth in visitors outstripping that of more traditional markets in western Europe.

Turkey’s relations with Russia have warmed significantly in the past two years, helped on by a flourishing relationship between the two countries’ presidents and cooperation on regional issues such as Syria.

Turkish tourism firms offer cheap, all-inclusive holiday packages that are particularly attractive to visitors from Russia, who flock to the southern resort city of Antalya and its environs each summer.

Relations between the two countries in the field of tourism will continue to deepen as Russian travel agents devote more capacity to Turkey, Bağlıkaya said.