People, Travel

Turkey Expects 1m Russians

Turkey Expects 1m RussiansTurkey Expects 1m Russians

Turkey expects about one million Russian tourists to visit the country by the end of the year, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci said on Monday.

“We hope that about one million Russian tourists will come to [visit] us this year. From next year, we expect to return to earlier figures,” Avci told the NTV television channel, according to Sputnik International.

Ties between Moscow and Ankara soured last fall after a Turkish jet downed a Russian plane over Syria. Russia suspended charter flights and the sale of package tours to Turkey, as part of measures taken in response to Ankara’s actions.

However, the Kremlin lifted the ban on Turkey last month when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan apologized for the November incident in a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In 2015, 3.65 million Russian tourists visited Turkey. After the incident with the Russian jet, the number of Russian tourists who visited Turkey’s Antalya between January and May 2016 decreased 26 times compared to the previous year.

The Turkey-based English daily Daily Sabah quoted a report by Turkish financial institution Ata Invest as saying that the ending of tensions between the two countries will contribute over $10 billion to Turkey’s trade and tourism revenues over the next two years.