Turkish tourism players expect over 10 pct increase in arrivals from Ukraine
ISTANBUL - Anadolu AgencyAn increase of over 10 percent is expected in the number of Ukrainian tourists visiting Turkey this year, according to a leading sector representative.
The head of the Hoteliers Association of Turkey (TÜROB), Timur Bayındır, said a double-digit increase will be seen in the number of Ukrainian tourists in 2016, adding that around 700,000 Ukrainians visited Turkey last year.
He noted many tour operators of Turkish origin with operations obstructed in Russia were expected to gradually divert their operations to Ukraine in 2016 and 2017.
“The Ukrainian economy has been regressing. We have seen that the number of Ukrainian people who can afford foreign travel has been limited. A total of 1.5 million Ukrainians visited abroad in 2015, some half of whom flocked to Turkey. We have seen that Ukrainian people closely follow the developments in the Turkish tourism sector, with an expected drop of around 30 percent in hotel room prices compared to last year,” said Bayındır.
He said the top destinations for Ukrainian tourists are Istanbul and the Mediterranean resort of Antalya, while they generally make last-minute reservations.
Bayındır also noted Turkish Airlines flights to a total of seven destinations were making great contribution to the tourism ties.
Meanwhile, Turkish Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal said in March that the country wanted to attract 1 million tourists from Black Sea neighbor Ukraine this year to compensate for losses from other countries.
“The number of tourists from Ukraine visiting Turkey has been increasing despite several economic problems... Our aim is to lure 1 million tourists from Ukraine over this year,” state-run Anadolu Agency quoted Ünal as saying during a visit to the 22nd Ukraine International Tourism and Travel Fair (UITT) on March 30.
He also noted the two countries have become closer in recent years, describing Ukraine as “not only a neighbor for us, but also a country with which we have high-level strategic cooperation.”