Turkey expects over 6 million Russian visitors this year
The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey this year will increase by around 10 to 15 percent, exceeding 6 million, according to Firuz B. Bağlıkaya, the president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).
“Turkey is a very suitable travel destination for Russians,” he told Anadolu Agency on the sidelines of an international industry fair in Moscow on March 13.
”Here, we offer travel agencies the opportunity to meet with business partners,” he said.
He noted that the Russian tour operators exceeded their potential in directing holidaymakers to Turkey last year.
“This played a role in the increase in the number of foreigners visiting Turkey. Since the sales of [holidays in] Turkey increased, this also helped balance the prices in our benefit.”
Last year, 5.9 million Russians visited Turkey.
“This number will keep increasing as long as the relationship between the two countries is good,” Bağlıkaya said.
The geographical closeness, the holiday facilities designed in accordance with the preferences of Russian visitors and ease in visa procedures play role in the Russian interest in Turkey, he added.
“The Moscow International Travel and Tourism Exhibition is a very important fair for Turkey,” the sector representative said.
Some 91 percent of the Russian visitors to Turkey come for holiday, according to a TÜRSAB report revealed at the Moscow fair.
Antalya and Istanbul top the destinations in Turkey for Russian holidaymakers, the report said.
Antalya International Airport data show that nearly 4.7 million Russians visited the province with several resorts last year.
Istanbul’s local culture and tourism authorities said over 618.500 Russians visited the country’s largest city last year.
The Turkish Statistics Institute data say that Russian visitors stayed 8.4 nights on average in Turkey last year. They spent $607 per capita, a sharp drop from $800 in 2013.
Some 74.6 percent of the Russian visitors picked all-inclusive tour packages.
Russia faced an economic shrinkage in 2015 and 2016, but an increase in global oil prices turned the trend upward in 2017 and 2018, the TÜRSAB report said.
The number of Russians traveling abroad in the first nine months of last year increased 6.2 percent from the given period a year earlier, reaching 32.9 million the report said.
Russia relaxed trade sanctions placed on Turkey in June 2017 in the aftermath of the downing of a Russian fighter jet in 2015.