Experts support entrance of Russian tourists with ID
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULMar 11, 2015 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Mar 11, 2015 12:00 am
To alleviate the negative impacts of Russia's economic crisis in Turkey, legislative regulation is preparing by the Foreign Ministry that will allow Russians to enter Turkey with their IDs, instead of passports.
Taken as a precautionary measure, the new plan has received positive feedback from tourism professionals. In the last two months, the number of German tourists has outpaced Russians, who have the highest visitor numbers in Turkey. To avoid the influence of the ruble's devaluation against the dollar, it is aiming to provide easier travel for Russians to Turkey.
Osman Ayık, the president of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED), said it is easier to enter Turkey with IDs. "The number of Russian tourists will increase if the implementation goes well," he said. Ayık said that tourism operators have taken all the necessary precautions and will continue to do so. "It will be a tough year as we cannot make proper estimations about Russian tourists. We do not have many concerns about the European market, but the Russian market is problematic," he said.
Turkey, a major destination for Russian tourists, has also been heavily affected by the economic crisis in Russia. Some hotels in Turkey have slashed prices to fill beds after arrivals from Russia dropped by more than 21 percent in 2014 and by 22 percent in January. Spending on international travel by Russians fell 6 percent in 2014, according to the U.N. World Tourism Organization, a sharp drop from more than 20 percent when compared to previous years. It's been a similar story for airlines, tour groups and hotels that rely on Russian business.