Turkey wishes to increase the number of its Russian tourists, - which was recorded as some seven million last year - Turkey's Ambassador to Russia, Mehmet Samsar, said on Feb. 27.
"We reached seven million Russian visitors last year. We want to increase this number. Tourism is essential to our diplomatic relationship," Samsar said at a Turkey-Germany-Russia Forum event in Moscow.
The diplomatic relationship between Russia and Turkey is in its 100th year, Samsar noted, adding that he hopes ties will grow dynamically and be strengthened by collaborative projects.
According to Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism, some 7.018 million Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2019, a 17.56 percent increase from 2018.
Amid Turkey's inflation surge of 2019, Russian tourists mostly opted for cheap hotels in the Mediterranean province of Antalya, Consul General Oleg Rogoza said, adding that many tourists were disappointed with the service they received and complained to the local consulate.
The number of accidents in southern Turkey, and mainly in the Russian tourists' top destination Antalya, have increased as well, Rogoza said. In the summer of 2019, five Russian citizens were killed in traffic accidents in the Mediterranean resort city.