Sunday, December 6, 2015

Russian Sanctions ‘Killed Tourist Business’ in Antalya - German Media


© Flickr/ saga fransman

Some local residents and entrepreneurs believe that the holiday resort will not be able to recover from the losses incurred from Russia’s sanctions against Turkey, German newspaper Die Welt wrote.

About four million Russian tourists come to Turkey annually, most of whom prefer to spend there their holidays and stay at hotels in Antalya. Now, following Russia’s economic sanctions against Turkey, tourism in the region has become unprofitable, German newspaper Die Welt wrote. Local entrepreneurs are seriously concerned about the impending disaster to their business and point out that tourism in Antalya is now dead, the newspaper wrote. One can still find signs written in Russian at the tourist resort, but most shops, where Russian tourists were the main buyers, will probably soon close.
Russia introduced a set of economic measures against Turkey in response to the incident with its Su-24 bomber jet, which was brought down by an air-to-air missile while carrying out precision strikes on terrorist positions in northern Syria. In particular, Russia has prohibited the import of certain products from Turkey and imposed travel restrictions, halting most trips by Russian citizens to the country. Many locals still prefer to keep calm, assuming that the tourist business will be able to recover by the spring. However, Turkish businessman Mehmet Ali Gultekin says that it would be very naive to believe such scenario.
"Of course the political situation will heavily affect tourism in the region. Most agencies have already started to plan tours for the next year and sign agreements with the airlines. But they are making plans and not taking Russia into account,” Gultekin said.
According to the entrepreneur, Antalya will suffer significant financial losses due to the outflow of Russian tourists
The problem is that most businesses had Russians as their target audience, as they often bought luxury items and booked tours. European tourists, many of whom are retired, are not so active and often stay in their hotel complexes for their entire stay in the country, Gultekin explained.

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