Turkish tourism representative expects 3 million Russian tourists in 2017
ANTALYA - Anadolu AgencyOver 3 million Russian tourists are expected to visit Turkey in 2017, with the tourism sector already experiencing some relief after the normalization of ties between the two countries, according to a leading tourism representative.
The head of the Professional Hotel Managers Association (POYD) noted that 2016 was a year of losses for the sector, but some recovery has started to be seen with the normalization of bilateral relations with Russia.
“The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey increased [in the final months] to around 800,000 over this year, up from almost zero. This rapid increase makes us very optimistic about the coming year,” said POYD head Hakan Duran.
Saying that Turkey saw sharp losses in the number of European arrivals this year, Duran said more campaigns should be conducted in order to recover Turkey’s image.
“Several significant image-building campaigns need to be carried out without any interruption … We also need to visit all European countries and tell their people how comfortable vacationing in Turkey still is. Foreigners who have visited our country could also make a contribution to these campaigns,” he noted.
According to Duran, Turkey will likely close 2016 with a decrease of around 40-45 percent in tourist numbers and losses of $11-12 billion in tourism revenue compared to 2015.
“We always need to look to the future. We have already started to reap the yields of our campaigns to new markets, including China, India and Far East Asian countries,” he said.
The number of foreign arrivals to Turkey dropped by 25.8 percent to 2.45 million in October, compared to the same month in 2015, temporary data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Nov. 29.
This was the smallest shrinkage in foreign arrivals in the last seven months, as Turkey’s tourism industry struggles amid political and security concerns.
In the first 10 months of the year, Germany, Georgia and the United Kingdom were the top sources of foreign arrivals to Turkey, the ministry’s data showed.