Antalya set to host over 4 mln tourists from Russia, Ukraine
Salim Uzun-ANTALYAThe Mediterranean resort province of Antalya is set to host over 4 million tourists from Russia and Ukraine and experience an increase in the number of arrivals from Israel after a daunting year, according to a top local association.
The head of the Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATSO), Davut Çetin, said there was significant rise in early bookings from Russia, Ukraine and Israel.
“We expect to host more than 3 million Russian tourists this year. Our target for the Israeli market is to see 400,000 tourists from this country. We also expect to host around 1 million tourists from Ukraine after the visa-free travel goes online,” he told a group of economy journalists on March 2.
The Turkish tourism sector has seen a surge in early bookings mainly from the Russian market. Half of Russia’s holidaymakers have chosen Turkey as their top travel destination in 2017, a report released by the Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR) showed in January. The most popular Turkish destinations have again become Antalya’s Alanya, Side and Kemer, where the hotels have made up to 50 percent of cuts in their prices.
Çetin noted that Antalya is likely to see more than 3 million arrivals from Russia in 2017, unless “any negative development erupts.”
Problems in European market
Çetin said there were, however, problems in the European market.
“We have faced a lower demand especially in the German market. The Dutch market is stable, while the bookings from the U.K. market have fortunately been on rise. We will understand our position in the European markets better when we attend the fairs there. Despite everything, we need to be hopeful and work a lot,” he added.
Summer bookings to Turkey by German holidaymakers are down by more than half after a spate of bombings, with tourists instead heading to Greece and Egypt, according to German market researcher GfK, as reported by AFP on March 2.
The bookings from Germany were down 58 percent at the end of January from a year ago, according to the report.
Çetin noted that Antalya will likely host over 400,000 Israeli tourists and 1 million tourists from Ukraine.
“We already reached over 572,000 arrivals from Ukraine when visas were gone online. After the visa-free passage is approved between Turkey and Ukraine, we will likely double this figure,” he added.