charter” tourists for “regular” programs will become the main obstacle for Russian tourists who want to relax in Turkey. This assessment of the situation was voiced by the Turkish media Maya Lomidze, Executive Director of the Association of Tour Operators of Russia. According to her estimates, if 2 million tourists come from Russia to Turkey in 2022, then this is already quite a satisfactory result.
“The biggest hurdle for tourists coming to Turkey from Russia this summer is air travel. Air transportation should be supported by affordable prices,” Maya Lomidze emphasized. She recalled that in 2021, 4.7 million visitors came to Turkey from Russia, and 80% were organized tourists. This year, such success is not promised for obvious reasons – and the first of them is the price of the flight.
“The biggest hurdle with regard to Turkey is related to air transport. This year everything will depend on air travel and prices. We cannot give an assessment of the results of 2022, geopolitical conditions change every day, but if 2 million people are reached, this will be considered a good result”,
At the same time, she stressed that the interest of Russian tourists in Turkey has not gone away, all those 5-6 million that this country usually received would hypothetically fly, but the issue rests on money. “The most important issue is the support of air transportation at affordable prices. Unfortunately, the current Turkish Airlines and Pegasus seat prices provided by our tour operators do not allow these tours to be sold at early 2022 prices. Tourists who have previously bought charter tours are charged a high fee for transferring to Turkish Airlines flights,” Maya Lomidze said. According to her, the Turkish government “would be a good decision to subsidize air travel” in order to eliminate the difference in price between charter and scheduled flights.
She also noted that in order to attract tourists to Turkey, it would be good to actively develop the acceptance of the Mir card. At the same time, she noted that, in general, the withdrawal of Visa and Mastercard from the Russian market will affect the independent tourist flow to Turkey. “There are no problems for clients of tour operators. With their Russian card, they can pay for everything (airplane, hotel, etc.) to a tour operator in Russia. Considering that 80% of tourists from Russia go to Turkey as clients of tour operators, this can stimulate the transition of independent tourists to tour operators,” she said. Meanwhile, independent travelers are likely to have problems with tickets and hotels. However, she advised Turkish business representatives to “make their contribution by quickly integrating the Russian Mir payment system into the websites of Turkish airlines and hotels. “It is also necessary to increase the number of Turkish banks accepting Russian Mir cards in their devices (ATMs, POS-terminals),” she added.
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