Turkey expects to see an increase of 20 percent in the number of Russian tourists coming to the country in 2018, Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) Chairman Timur Bayındır said.According to the statement by TÜROB, the association has prepared a report ahead of the peak season in which it revealed expectations about the Russian tourism market. After a record figure of 4.7 million of tourists that visited Turkey last year from Russia, which is one of the country’s largest markets, growth is expected to continue this year.
With the increase captured in 2017, Turkey has taken the lead among Russian citizens’ most favored countries, while Turkey’s market share has risen to 12.7 percent. Bayındır pointed out that the increase in the number of tourists coming from Russia is expected to maintain an uptrend, noting that they foresee a 20 percent increase in the number of Russians coming to the country this year.
Although 2017 saw the highest level ever in terms of Russian tourists coming to Turkey, there has been a noticeable decline in per capita spending, Bayındır added. He said the per capita spending of Russian tourists, which was $800 in 2013, declined to $609 in 2017.
“In 2017, the number of tourists coming to Turkey from Russia reached the highest level in history. 2017 was at the same time the period during which Russian tourists reached record highs in terms of the number of overnight stays in Turkey. The number of nights spent by Russian tourists in our country has exceeded the 30 million limit and reached 30,367 million,” Bayındır said. Turkey and Russia have announced 2019 as a year of mutual culture and tourism between the two countries, for which Bayındir said should be seen as an important opportunity to strengthen and diversify the advantages in the market.
According to the German tourism operator TUI, early bookings by Russians for the summer season in Turkey rose by 150 percent. Early bookings via Tez Tour and Pegas Turistik recorded an increase of two times compared to the last season, Bayındır informed.
According to British flight search app Skyscanner data, April 30 – May 9 flight bookings from Russia to Istanbul have increased by 102 percent compared to the same period last year.
Indicating that Istanbul has advanced to eighth place from 16th place among the most popular destinations, Bayındır said in 2017, 89 percent of Russian tourists came to Turkey for vacation, 5.8 percent came to visit relatives and friends, while 3 percent came for business purposes.
Turkey ranked 29th among the countries in terms of the number of tourists visiting Russia last year, as 80,000 Turkish citizens visited the country, Bayındır said, adding that it shows an increase of 103 percent compared to 2016.