Tours to Turkey are once again market leaders in Russia

Tourists at a hotel in Antalya, October 2015.

Tourists at a hotel in Antalya, October 2015.

Vladimir Vyatkin/RIA Novosti
Putin and Erdogan's reconciliation has led to an enormous increase in demand for Turkish holidays among Russians.

Three days after the ban on selling tours to Turkey was rescinded, the country has recovered its leading position of destinations among Russians. In recent days up to 35 percent of Russian travel agencies’ turnover has involved travel to Turkey, according to the Kommersant business daily. 

Source: Press photo

On June 30, 2016 the Russian government removed its restrictions on visiting Turkey for Russian tourists.

"The number of tours and interest in them skyrocketed immediately on the evening of that day," the analytical department at Yandex.Travel, a popular Russian tour reservation service, told RBTH.

According to the press office of the Russian air ticket search engine, a week after the removal of the moratorium the quantity of demand on tickets to Turkey increased by 40 percent in relation to the previous week. Analysts say that interest in Turkey has also begun to grow rapidly among independent travelers.  

Market players believe that the interest in Turkey should not have an effect on the demand of other popular destinations. Ekaterina Bezhanova, the director of strategic development at Online Tours, says that this is explained by the fact that the three million tourists that travelled to Turkey in 2015 were not able to find an alternative this year.

“Only some of them travelled in Russia or bought tours to Cyprus, Greece, Spain and other countries," Bezhanova said.

Bezhanova says that before the ban was lifted a large number of tourists, lacking an alternative, just decided to stay home. Now, she thinks they are ready to change their summer plans.

Before the ban on selling tours to Turkey, which the Russian government introduced in November 2015, the country had been the leader among Russian summer tourist destinations. In May 2016 the Turkish government recorded a 10-fold decrease in tourists from Russia due to the restrictions.

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