By Kamila Aliyeva
The number of Russian tourists, who visited the Turkish city of Antalya in March, increased by over eight times compared to the same period of the last year, Turkish media reported on April 4.
As many as 24,134 Russian citizens arrived in Antalya in March.
Overall, the number of arrivals to Antalya from abroad last month decreased by 35.6 percent to 165,741 people.
In January-March of 2017, 337,663 foreigners arrived to Antalya, which is 27 percent less compared to the same period of 2016.
During this period, the number of Russian tourists grew by 672 percent.
This year, Turkish tourism sector expects to receive about five million tourists from Russia.
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 between the two countries in late 2015. However, there has been a notable increase in arrivals from Russia since the normalization of bilateral ties between the two countries began.
In March 2017, a number of documents in the sphere of tourism were signed in Moscow following the talks between Turkish Deputy Minister of Culture and Tourism Huseyin Yayman and Head of the Federal Agency for Tourism of Russia (Rosturizm) Oleg Safonov.
The number of foreigners visiting Turkey dropped to 25.3 million in 2016. That is a 30 percent drop compared to 2015.
Turkey’s tourism revenue dropped to $22.1 billion in 2016, a 29.7 percent decrease compared to 2015, as the number of foreign arrivals to the country witnessed a dramatic plunge, the official data showed.
Turkey’s Tourism Ministry confirmed that the drop is correlated to a number of terrorist attacks and to the “failed” military coup on July 15, 2016.
TUIK said that the country’s tourism revenue dropped to $22.1 billion in 2016; a 29.7 percent decrease compared to 2015. While some 72.8 percent of the revenue was obtained from foreign visitors, the remaining 27.2 percent was obtained from Turkish citizens who reside abroad.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
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