Russia crisis ‘chance for Turkish tourism’
Burak Coşan ISTANBULThe crisis in Europe may create opportunities for the Turkish tourism businesses if airlines reflect the fall in oil prices on their ticket fees, according to Başaran Ulusoy, the head of the country’s leading tourism organization.
“The crisis in Russia poses opportunities for us,” said Ulusoy, head of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), while speaking at a sector event organized by daily Hürriyet on Dec. 22. “Let the airline companies support us and reflect the falling oil prices on ticket,” he said.
Turkey’s tourism sector, which employs around 800,000, attracts large numbers of Russian tourists every year, but the recent depreciation of the ruble remains a major concern for next year, as the citizens of the northern neighbor may cut spending.
“Developing ties with Russia is very important for us,” he said. “And our strongest hand in the issue is President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,” he added, referring to good relations between the Turkish leader and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
The tourism sector is precious for Turkey, said Vuslat Doğan Sabancı, the chairwoman of Hürriyet, in her addressing at the event,
“The tourism sector grew tenfold in the last decade,” she said. “Besides its economic input, the socio-cultural contributions are very important. Tourism means civilization, development and peace.” The event gathered representatives of some 90 percent of the sector, she noted, highlighting the Hürriyet supplements and publications that support the sector. Turkey has gone beyond limited sun-and-sea tourism, said Culture and Tourism Ministry Undersecretary Professor Haluk Dursun. “We should add culture tourism to this,” he said.
Daily Hürriyet is among the actors in the tourism sector, Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin said.
“We are very pleased to see that our contributions to tourism are appreciated by the sector,” he added.