ISTANBUL - Hürriyet Daily News
Otium Eco Club Side is a hotel customized for families with children. Hürriyet photo
Turkey is drawing far more tourists from Russia
than the rest of Europe, a top executive of a Turkish holding active in the tourism sector has said, noting that such trends were especially reflected in the family tourism industry.
“Russian tourists spend the most money. All-inclusive schemes attract 3.5 million Russians to Turkey every year. They spend more than European tourists,” Ayhan Bektaş, the chairman of OTİ Holding, told daily Hürriyet.
Turkey is now way ahead of its rivals in the family holiday concept, having made a continuous stream of investments in the tourism sector over the last 10 years.
“OTİ Holding is active in 26 countries. It is in the top five of the 50 largest Turkish firms that operate abroad. Its activities span a wide range in the tourism sector from ground services to tour operations, travel agencies, hotel management and aviation and to private security services,” he said March 22 at a meeting in Moscow marking the 20th anniversary of OTİ’s foundation. The holding, founded in 1992, consists of 15 companies.
Foreign tourists in Turkey spent about $6.5 billion on food and beverages last year, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK). The personal expenses of the tourists totaled $18.7 billion.
Meanwhile, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey fell 7.6 percent in February compared with the same period last year. Some 997,500 visitors arrived last month, the Tourism Ministry said on its website on March 23.