Turkey sees sharp decline in foreign arrivals from Russia
REUTERS photoThe number of foreign arrivals from Russia to Turkey declined significantly in the first month of 2016, temporary data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Feb. 29.
A total of 22,106 people from Russia visited Turkey in January, a decline of 56.7 percent compared to the same month of the previous year.
Russia has been the second largest source of foreign tourists visiting Turkey, but the number of Russian tourists began to decline after a diplomatic crisis erupted between the two countries in November 2015.
Tourism representatives from Turkey’s hottest tourism destination, the southeastern province of Antalya, have claimed the worse is still to come.
One tourism player claimed that only 55 Russians visited Antalya in February.
“Antalya hosted just 55 Russian tourists in February. This is a huge loss. We have seen a decline of almost 100 percent in the number of Russian tourists over this year. The number of German visitors also decreased by around 30 percent in February due to rising security concerns after the suicide bomb attack in Istanbul last January,” said the head of the Antalya Urban Council Tourism Work Group, Recep Yavuz, as quoted by Doğan News Agency on Feb. 29.
The number of foreign arrivals dropped by 6.44 percent to 1.17 million in January compared to the same month of the previous year, according to the ministry data.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu announced an action plan on Feb. 22 to support Turkey’s tourism sector, which has been negatively affected recently by tensions with Russia and security concerns.
The support package included a 255-million-Turkish-Lira ($87 million) grant and several mechanisms which will enable tourism firms to restructure their debts.