Antalya to benefit from COVID shutdown in Russia


Antalya, one of Turkey’s hottest tourist attractions, braces for an influx of Russian holidaymakers later this month after Moscow ordered a week-long paid holiday nationwide from October 30 to curb COVID-19 infections amid record virus deaths.

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Following the government shutdown decision, thousands of Russian holidaymakers are now booking vacations in Turkey, and their main destination will be Antalya on the Mediterranean coast.
This is an unexpected but welcome development for hoteliers in the province, who are preparing to end the tourist season soon.

Several Russian tour operators reported that in just two days last week, demand for vacations in Turkey jumped 300%. Schools will be closed during the closure, allowing Russian families with children to travel and spend long holidays abroad.

Russian tourists are also booking vacations to Egypt and the Maldives, but the increase in demand for these destinations is around 30%.

Russian citizens traveling to Turkey must provide a PCR test with negative results taken no later than 72 hours before arrival.

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On April 15, Russia suspended scheduled and charter flights with Turkey due to COVID-19 concerns. After a two-month hiatus, Russian tourists started coming to Turkey again at the end of June.

According to local hoteliers, from January to September 2.7 million Russian tourists visited Antalya, while some 880,000 German nationals vacationed in the province during the same period. In addition, 1.1 million Ukrainian holidaymakers visited the province in the first nine months of the year.

The latest official data from the country’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism showed that foreign tourist arrivals to Turkey climbed almost 94% on an annual basis to reach more than 14 million people in January-August.


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