Ankara, Moscow sign tourism cooperation protocol

Published 27.10.2017 19:59

Turkey and Russia signed a cooperation protocol in tourism sector within the scope of the Turkey-Russia 11th Working Group Meeting held in Antalya.The 11th Working Group Meeting held annually between Turkey and Russia took place at the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa Hotel in Belek Tourism Center.

Various issues, such as the evaluation of the tourism season, the increase in tourist flow between the two countries, tourist security and better service to tourists, were discussed during the meeting.

Following the meeting, a cooperation protocol was signed in the field of tourism between Ömer Arısoy, undersecretary of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Oleg Safonov, the head of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm).

Undersecretary Arısoy said the meeting was fruitful. Pointing out that during the meeting they evaluated the figures of this year and also how they could develop a higher-level cooperation for next season, Arısoy noted that Turkey exceeded the figures of 2015 in the number of tourists coming to Turkey this year.

Stressing that he believes they will reach a better level in the coming years compared to the previous years, Ömer Arısoy said, "We did not only discuss the tourist inflow from Russia to our country, but also the preparations for tourist outflow to Russia from our country."

On a question with regard to the mutual removal of visas between the two countries, Arısoy said, "The visa issue is on the agenda. They recently stated that they will proceed to the electronic visa system. We also said it will facilitate the travel from our country to Russia. They said they will work on the issue."

Head of Russia's Federal Agency for Tourism (Rosturizm) Oleg Safonov said the meeting was held in a warm environment and they reviewed many of the issues that will help relations between Turkey and Russia develop.

"We believe that the relations between us will have a great perspective. We discussed the development of cruise tourism, especially in the Black Sea Basin. We talked about the issues of mutual tourism and cultural activities between our countries for 2019," Safonov continued. "We agreed on holding a sub-working group meeting on tourist safety before the heavily anticipated tourism season for the coming year. Since 2017 is not over, we touched on the preliminary studies in the field of tourism."

Oleg Safonov said Turkey did not leave them alone in a difficult situation due to an airline company recently filing for bankruptcy in Russia, adding that they want to increase the number of tourists coming from Turkey to Russia.

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