Russian tourists are expected to continue coming to Turkey's top holiday resort of Antalya until the first week of November.
Etem Hakan Duran, the head of the Professional Hoteliers Association (POYD), told Anadolu Agency (AA) that Russian tourists continue to come even though it is October.
Duran said Russian tourists prefer Antalya more since Russia does not allow flights to Egypt because of security issues, airport controls and some other problems.
"Egypt is still experiencing what we went through in 2016. For Russian guests who cannot go to Egypt, airplanes will continue to land in Antalya until the first week of November, with the climate going very well," Duran said. "For that reason, the Russian market continues seriously with its occupancies. However, Israel and the Middle East are still high density. It is also the period when we have convention tourism in our domestic market. So, our hotels have a high occupancy rate."
Duran stressed that Turkish tourism will not be able to catch up to 2014-2015 figures now, but predicted there will be an upward trend in the next two years.
"Turkey is not a country to be given up on. They cannot easily find such a country that can give their money's worth with its climate and price," Duran said, adding that rival countries are applying very high prices this year due to demand.
Citing that some European tourists pay these high sums, Duran said: "They still cannot get our prices and services out of their minds. There will be a recovery over time, but the whole point is not to break down relations and keep promoting and marketing."
Duran said the winter season predominantly offers golf, sports and congress tourism and they predict that the number of tourists coming from Europe will be lower this year than the previous year.
Therefore, Duran suggested that tourism professionals should turn to the Scandinavian market and try to get guests from there. "Elder people in Scandinavian countries prefer warmer climates. They prefer to live and spend time in hot countries," Duran said. "Perhaps it is necessary to continue efforts to ensure that people are able to spend the winter season in a warm climate like Turkey by also including health tourism with a suitable project for the elderly house concept there."
Meanwhile, the number of Russian tourists visiting Antalya reached over 3 million as of Sept. 30, Antalya Governor Münir Karaloğlu said last week. The governor also said it equaled an all-time record.
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