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Antalya tourism suffering from Russian boycott

DAILY SABAH WITH DOGAN NEWS AGENCY
ISTANBUL
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According to data from the Antalya Airport's Local Authority, the tourism sector lost 42 percent of tourists who visited during the same period last year. A total of 1,473,744 tourists arrived in Antalya by air during the first five months of 2016. Antalya hosted more than half a million Russian tourists during January through May of 2015. With the number of Russian tourists visiting the city dropping to 21,359 in the same period this year, Antalya's loss of the Russian market reached 96 percent. This figure was 802,364 and 542,160 for the same period in 2014 and 2015, respectively. The number of Russian tourists visiting Antalya dropped to around 21,000 for the first five months of 2016, from more than half a million for the first five months of 2015.

Turkey downed a Russian Su-24 military jet on Nov. 24, 2015, on the grounds that it violated Turkish airspace near the Syrian border. Moscow implemented several sanctions on Turkey like banning Turkish goods and not giving work permits to Turkish workers. The Russian government also called on its citizens to not travel to Turkey, which is a famous holiday spot for the cold-country's people with its warm beaches.

German tourists took the lead among other tourists who preferred to have a holiday in Antalya. The number of German tourists who arrived in the city by air between January and May was 582,782, a shrinkage of 30 percent compared to 2015. The Netherlands followed, with 100,809 Dutch tourists. A total of 150,395 Dutch tourists came to Antalya over the same period last year, marking a decline of 33 percent. The U.K. was third in terms of tourists visiting Antalya, and numbers dropped to 93,385 from 116,464 from the same period last year, a shrinkage of 20 percent. Ukraine ranked fourth in terms of the number of tourists, increasing to 81,310 from 56,853 last year, which marks a 57 percent increase.

The number of Israeli tourists in Antalya surged by 69 percent. A total of 38,390 Israeli tourists came to Antalya between January and May. This figure was 22,738 in the same period last year. Although both Ukrainian and Israeli tourism markets grew, they still won't make up for the loss of Russian tourists.

Although Russia previously ranked first or second last year, it ranked 12th this year.

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