Following the arrival of the first Russian tourist convoy in Antalya on Saturday, Turkish hoteliers say hotel occupancy rates will vary between 50 percent and 80 percent in July and August, adding that 1 million Russian tourists expected to travel to the country in this period will contribute nearly 10 percent to occupancy rates.

Stressing that Russian tourists will also contribute to occupancy rates in September and October when seasonal tourism activities are on the decline, hoteliers stated that charter flights from Russia to Turkey should resume soon. Hotel managers also evaluated Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev’s order to relevant bodies to study the resumption of charter flights to Turkey, saying that it is a “promising” development which will gradually increase arrivals when necessary promises are met.

Turkish Hoteliers’ Federation (TÜROFED) Chairman Osman Ayik said the first tourist convoy from Russia has arrived by scheduled flight and underlined that charter flights must commence soon. He described Medvedev’s statement as “promising,” adding that “We think charter flights will start as of the third week of July. From then on, arrivals will gradually increase.” Ayik suggested that Russian tourists will make an additional 10 percent contribution to occupancy rates in tourism facilities, adding, “If nothing goes wrong, foreign visitors’ overnight stays might reach 50 million.”Pegas Tour Chairman Ramazan Akpinar stated that the company will bring its first Russian tourist group via a scheduled Turkish Airlines (THY) flight on July 14, stressing that they will initiate frequent flights after permissions for charter flights are received.The first Russian tourist convoy to arrive in Turkey in nearly a year was welcomed by Antalya Airport Local Authority and Deputy Governor Mehmet Yavuz, the Antalya General Directorate of State Airports Authority (DHMI) Head Manager Osman Serdar and ICF Airports managers. Following a cocktail party that was held for Russian tourists at the passport control point, tourists were transferred to hotels.

Russian tourist Irina Sergeva said that she previously spent holidays in Turkey and will spend this year’s holiday in Antalya as she loves the city’s nature and sea, adding, “Positive developments between the two countries make us happy.”  Another Russian tourist Sergei Baykov stated he has been taking a holiday in Turkey for 10 years, expressing his happiness of positive developments between Turkey and Russia.


Source:  Daily Sabah

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