Bookings made by Russians for holidays in Turkey have increased strongly despite limited resumption of flights between the countries, Maya Lomidze, the head of the Association of Tour Operators in Russia (ATOR) has said.
“Tens of thousands of Russian holidaymakers are booking for Turkey despite the fact that flights will resume between only a few airports,” Lomidze told a press conference.
She noted that Russia will resume flights to Turkey, the U.K, and Tanzania as of Aug.1, and said, “Turkey has always been a much popular holiday destination than the U.K for Russians.”
Tourist visits to the U.K. will be rather limited because of the 14-day quarantine measure for travelers, according to Lomidze.
Turkey is definitely standing out as the favorite holiday destination among all countries Russia will resume flights to, she said.
“Russians have started to book reservations for Turkey soon after the announcement regarding the restart of the flights. We see tens of thousands of Russians booking for Turkey already,” Lomidze added.
Flights from Russia to Istanbul, one of Turkey’s hottest tourist spots and the capital Ankara are set to resume on Aug. 1.
Flights to Turkey’s major holiday destinations Antalya, Dalaman and Bodrum will restart on Aug. 10.
More than 7 million Russians visited Turkey in 2019, a strong 18 percent increase from the previous year.
However, Russian tourist arrivals in Turkey plunged 88 percent on an annual basis to just 322,000 in the first half of 2020. In June alone, only 4,000 Russian holidaymakers visited Turkey, marking a 99.6 percent decline from the same month of 2019.
Hurriyet Daily News