Tourism players praise ties between Russians, Turks
ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
AA photoTurkish tourism representatives have praised the ties between Turks and Russians, adding they believed any political tensions between the two countries could be overcome.
“Even if some political [tensions] are now present between Turkey and Russia, we’ll continue to live peacefully with Russian residents in our country and show our hospitality to Russian visitors, just as we did before,” said the head of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers’ Association (AKTOB), Yusuf Hacısüleyman, at the 5th International Resort Tourism Congress, which was organized by Resort magazine and the AKTOB.
The head of the Turkish Hoteliers’ Federation (TÜROFED), Osman Ayık, said Russia was one of the most important markets for the Turkish tourism sector.
“The latest sad incident has unfortunately caused tension between Turkey and Russia… The ties between the two countries’ people are very strong. I believe these people will resolve the current crisis easily,” he said, adding market diversification was of great importance for the sector and Turkey needed a master plan immediately in tourism.
Hacısüleyman said the tourism sector has seen both positive and negative developments over this year and the hottest issue has been security concerns in the sector.
Saying that people’s freedom of travel and safety has been under serious threat across the world, he added the second crucial point which has affected global tourism has been huge refugee flow.
He underlined the importance of a visa-free world to enhance people’s freedom of travel across the world.
Sören Hartmann, the CEO of German tour operator Rewe Group, said travel demand is expected to decline due to escalating terror attacks, and this trend will likely most hit the eastern Mediterranean.
“We expect fewer people to travel in 2016, as many people do not feel safe in the world,” he said.