Turkish tourism representatives support Russians incoming with ID cards, rather than passports
ANTALYA - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoTourism representatives have supported the idea to give Russian tourists the chance to enter Turkey with only their identity cards, rather than their passports.
Due to the economic crisis in Russia, there has recently been a decrease in the number of Russian tourists flowing into Turkey, as well as to some other countries.
In order to minimize the negative effects of the struggling Russian economy on the tourism sector, the government recently announced a number of measures. In this vein, tourism representatives have proposed the government adapt the same arrangement the country has with Georgia for Russian citizens. Upon an agreement between Georgia and Turkey in 2011, the citizens from both countries can visit the other with only their ID cards.
The Turkish Ministry of Tourism has taken the proposal onto its agenda, according to tourism representatives. If this proposal is realized for Russian tourists, around 500,000 more tourists are expected to visit Turkey from Russia.
“It is not an easy process for Russians to take a passport…If our proposal is accepted, we expect more Russian tourists to visit Turkey,” said Osman Ayık, the head of the Hoteliers federation of Turkey (TÜROFED).
“We don’t see any problems in the inflow of European tourists, but we have concerns about the inflow of Russian tourists amid the economic crisis there,” he said.
The number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya decreased by 41 percent in the first two months of the year, much higher than the overall decrease in visitors to the province of 2.9 percent, according to data from the Association of Mediterranean Tourism and Hoteliers of Turkey (AKTOB).
The dramatic decrease in the number of Russian tourists compared to last year is mainly thought to be a result of the economic problems in Russia, the association announced on March 4.