Russia seeks launch of Sochi-Istanbul cruises to deepen tourism ties: Turkish association
ISTANBULRussian tourism representatives have called for the launch of cruises between Sochi and Istanbul in a bid to further revive tourist ties in the Black Sea, a leading Turkish sector association has said.
Another key demand from Russia was the maintenance of security and safety measures for Russian tourists visiting Turkey.
In a written statement, the Hoteliers Association of Turkey (TÜROB) outlined the results of its Russia report on April 3, following a key sector fair in Moscow.
Russia’s tourism authority, the Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm), asked for the launch of bilateral works to start cruise lines between Turkey’s Istanbul and Russia’s Sochi, according to a TÜROB statement.
The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey regressed to 866,000 in 2016, a 76 percent of decrease compared to the previous year amid a diplomatic crisis between the two countries and a number of bomb attacks in Turkey. Over 3.5 million Russians visited Turkey in 2015 and 4.5 million came in 2014.
Turkey, once a top tourism destination for Russians, fell to eighth in 2016.
According to Rosturizm representatives, there will be a significant rise in the number of arrivals from Russia to Turkey in 2017, the TÜROB statement said.
Turkey ranked first in hotel reservations among Russians in 2017 with a 32 percent share, followed by Cyprus and Greece with 8 and 7 percent, respectively, noted the statement.
Demand for security measures
Rosturizm representatives also asked Turkish officials and sector players to take the required safety and security measures for Russian tourists visiting Turkey, said TÜROB.
They also demanded to be informed about these measures, adding that media outlets should also be informed.
Meanwhile, the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey soared to around 96 percent in February compared to the same month of 2016, although arrivals from Europe continued to decline, official data has shown.
According to preliminary data released by the Tourism Ministry on March 30, some 39,261 Russians visited Turkey in February.