The Ministry of Culture and Tourism on Friday announced a 15 percent rise in early reservations to Turkey from Russia.
"Russia has increased its early reservation rate by 15 percent to the Turkish market," said Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, speaking to reporters in the Mediterranean province of Antalya.
"There is great excitement in the industry," he said. The minister also compared the capacity of the Turkish and German market in terms of early reservations, sharing figures from the largest tourism trade fair ITB Berlin.
"The German market has shrunk in terms of early reservations. When we look at the market in general, there is a decline of 2 percent," said the minister, adding that Turkey is using the opportunity to gain from competing markets. Ersoy also indicated that Antalya should be declared the capital of art and culture of Turkey, stating that several projects continue to be carried out for tourists. "We have evaluated what we should do [...] to expand the tourism season to 12 months by providing and maintaining more employment," said Ersoy, noting that one in three tourists to Turkey arrived at Antalya Airport. Russia was the top country with 5.96 million visitors last year, 15.1 percent of all foreign visitors to Turkey, followed by Germany with 4.51 million visitors.