3 million Ukrainian tourists will not come to Turkey, sector player says

Three million Ukrainians will not holiday in Turkey this summer, and Turkish tourism sector players are hoping peace talks between Russia and Ukraine will reach a resolution to the conflict by the summer to salvage the industry battered by the war and pandemic.

Duvar English

Three million Ukrainian tourists will not come to Turkey, and if negotiations between the two countries fail to reach a solution, only 30 percent of Russians expected to arrive in the country will likely come, Aegean Touristic Businesses and Accommodation Federation chair Mehmet İşler has said, according to a report by daily Birgün.

Turkish tourism players are hoping for a peaceful resolution to the conflict in Ukraine by the summer season in order to salvage the industry, which had been impacted severely over the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Turkey was put on red lists by European countries last year, and in 2020, travel across the world came to a halt.

Turkey was a draw for both Russian and Ukrainian tourists before the war, which began late February.

Tourism players were expecting the arrival of three million Ukrainians and seven million Russians this year before war broke out.

But the outbreak of the war means more than half of the numbers expected will not come.

But it also depends on Russian President Vladimir Putin, who could give the green light to Russian tourists to go to Turkey, İşler said.

“Our [Tourism] Ministry is working towards making up for the losses to prevent market concerns, aiming for Germany and the UK. Our expectations from the Central Asian and Azerbaijani markets, along with Iran and the Middle East due to [Persian New Year of] Newroz, are increasing,” he added.

Last year, two million Ukrainians and five million Russian tourists holidayed in Turkey.