Ukrainian ambassador to Ankara Sergiy Korsunsky said on Friday that Turkey's expectation to receive 1 million Ukrainian tourists in 2016 is realistic.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal recently attended the Ukraine International Travel and Tourism Show (UITT) in Kiev and said that Turkey wants to attract 1 million tourists from its Black Sea neighbor this year to compensate for the loss of Russian visitors. "Turkey hosted some 700,000 tourists from Ukraine in 2015. Our aim is to lure 1 million tourists from Ukraine this year. Ukraine is not only a neighbor for us, but also a country with which we have high-level strategic cooperation." Ünal said on Thursday.
Korsunsky told Daily Sabah that the goal of 1 million Ukrainian tourists is realistic and achievable. "Over 700,000 Ukrainian tourist visited Turkey in the last year and there is an increasing trend in this year's figures. In February, Ukrainian tourists increased 20 percent compared to the previous period. Turkish Airlines now has flights to seven destinations in Ukraine, and I believe more Ukrainian tourist will be visiting Turkey this year," Korsunsky said.
Due to tension between Turkey and Russia and security concerns, the number of foreign visitors to Turkey fell 10 percent in February, the biggest drop in a decade. The Culture and Tourism Ministry is looking for alternative markets to recover this loss.