Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy met with Zarina Doguzova, President of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, within the scope of the “Turkey-Russia Tourism Cooperation Meeting” held in a hotel in Ankara.
After the tete-a-tete meeting, Minister Ersoy, who made a statement before the "Joint Tourism Action Plan" signing ceremony, said that they held routine meetings with his Russian colleagues on public health and tourist safety, and exchanged ideas on how to intervene and improve the problems that tourists may encounter.
Stating that determinations were made at the meeting of the technical committees and that they agreed on the issues that need improvement, Ersoy expressed that it is pleasing for both sides that the problems are being resolved very quickly.
Minister Ersoy continued as follows:
“You know, this year, although it was a very difficult year, there was a serious movement beyond expectations in the traffic from Russia to our country in terms of tourists. As of the end of August, it exceeded 2,5 million, but by the end of the year, it seems that we will host more than 4 million Russian guests in our country. Russia ranks first this year, as it did last year, as the country that gives the most guests to Turkey.”
Hygiene rules and inspections will become permanent
Pointing out the importance of safe tourism certification or such studies during the interviews, Ersoy stated that the certification program has been made permanent by the tourism incentive law, and that the rules regarding hygiene and the necessary inspections will be a part of life after the epidemic.
Stating that the epidemic conditions have taught the whole world the importance of hygiene, Ersoy said that they want to see the certifications and inspections of the tourists when choosing the countries they will travel to, the facilities they will stay and the places to eat.
Stating that such hygiene rules should become permanent, Ersoy stated that Turkey has successfully implemented it so far, and then they will add new hygiene rules after the epidemic by making the necessary arrangements according to the developments.
The two countries are ready to cooperate on the safety of tourists
Zarina Doguzova, President of the Russian Federal Tourism Agency, also explained that Turkey is the most popular country for Russian tourists, and that it is important for the Russian government and for Russian tourism to ensure the safety of its citizens in the country they go to.
Doguzova, who stated that they discussed the security issue intensively in the meetings held, stated that they are always ready to cooperate in the inspection of the security of tourists.
Noting that they shared the problems communicated to them with Minister Ersoy and that an agreement was reached on the solution of these problems, Doguzova stated that they discussed what could be done to increase the work and violations of general rules.
Noting that they want to increase the number of Turkish tourists going to Russia, Doguzova said that they discussed what can be done on issues such as electronic visa application, visa exemption and evaluated cooperation in the field of investment.
“I am confident that we will complete it above 2021”
Later, answering the questions of members of the press, Minister Ersoy, in his answer to the question regarding the target set for 2022 in the number of future Russian tourists, reminded that Turkey hosted more than 19 million tourists from Russia before the Kovid-7 outbreak.
Expressing that the number of tourists could exceed 8 million without the epidemic, Ersoy said, “Every year, the number increases and it comes back to the old period. It's about early 2022 to set a target right now, but I can say with confidence that I'm sure we will complete it above 2021. There is intent on both sides. Both parties quickly fulfill the necessary conditions.” said.
When asked about the region preferred by Russian tourists, Ersoy said, “Until last year, we could say that it was mainly Mediterranean for Russian guests. But especially the Aegean is now becoming popular in Russia. This year, we managed to host a large number of Russian tourists, especially in the Bodrum region and other districts of the Aegean.” gave the answer.
Minister Ersoy added that the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) has been carrying out an intensive promotional program in Russia since 2019, and that they have also put into use a promotional strategy specific to the Aegean.
After the statements, Ersoy and Doguzova signed the “Joint Tourism Action Plan”.