Turkey eyes 1 million tourists from Ukraine this year amid troubles
REUTERS photoAmid woes in Turkey’s tourism sector this year, Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal has said the country wants to attract 1 million tourists from Black Sea neighbor Ukraine this year to compensate.
“The number of tourists from Ukraine visiting Turkey has been increasing despite several economic problems. Turkey hosted some 700,000 tourists from Ukraine in 2015. Our aim is to lure 1 million tourists from Ukraine over this year,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Ünal as saying during a visit to the 22nd Ukraine International Tourism and Travel Fair (UITT) on March 30.
He also noted that the two countries have become closer in recent years, describing “Ukraine is not only a neighbor for us, but also a country with which we have high-level strategic cooperation.”
“It is essential to plan our region together in terms of tourism [and] joint cultural heritage,”
Ünal said, adding that Turkish Airlines now has flights to seven destinations in Ukraine.
The number of foreign visitors coming to Turkey tumbled 10 percent in February, the biggest drop in a decade, data released by the Tourism Ministry showed on March 29, as widening security concerns continue to eat into a major source of revenue for the Turkish economy.
In this troubled climate, the government and the sector have been working on packages to diversify the country’s tourism markets.