Russia-Ukraine war costing Turkey millions of tourists
The Russia-Ukraine war has dealt a blow to Turkey’s tourism industry, with the conflict either cancelling or threatening a total of 10 million tourists expected from both countries this year, according to chairman of the Aegean Touristic Businesses and Accommodation Federation Mehmet Isler.

The expected three million Ukranians will not be coming to Turkey this year, BirGun newspaper cited the sector official as saying, while the arrival of the expected seven million Russians tourists remains up in the air based on the trajectory of the war.
Turkey is a vacationing hotspot for Russians and Ukrainians. Two million Ukrainians and five million Russian tourists visited Turkey last year, making up for 27.3 percent of visitors to the country in 2021. But the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began last month and the subsequent sanctions against Russia mean that questions loom over more that almost 30 percent of Turkey’s tourism potential.
 “(Turkey’s) expectation from the Ukrainian and Russian markets was around $10 billion in 2022,” Isler said. “It is certain that three million Ukrainians will not come to Turkey. And if the war continues and there is no new developments, only 30 percent of the Russians will arrive.’’
Russia launched its attack on February 24 and the war is showing no strong signs of abating five weeks into conflict, despite reports that the Russian military is retreating from its attempts to take the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv.
Turkey’s Tourism Ministry is working to cover the losses from the countries, Isler said, with a focus on Germany and the United Kingdom.
The sector instead expects increased visitors from Central Asian and Azerbaijan, he said, along with Iran and the Middle East.
Turkey is hoping to revive its vital tourism sector, which was hard hit by the COVID-19 pandemic. Regular flights with Russia and Ukraine had resumed this past summer.
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