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    Turkey's Antalya Expects Over Three Million Russian Tourists in 2017

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    As Moscow-Ankara relations are returning to normal after a rapid deterioration in the wake of the 2016 downing of a Russian fighter jet by the Turkish military, Antalya's authorities expect over three million of Russian tourists coming to the country's resorts this year.

    ANKARA (Sputnik) — Turkey's Antalya resorts expect to host more than 3 million Russian tourists this year, Davut Cetin, the head of Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATSO), said Friday.

    “We see positive developments on the Russian tourism market. The number of early bookings is growing. Barring unforeseen circumstances, the number of Russian tourists in Antalya will exceed three million this year,” Cetin told the Anadolu news agency.

    He added that up to one million of Ukrainian tourists were also expected to visit Antalya this year as compared to 572,000 people in 2016.

    Turkey faced a decrease in the number of tourists coming to its resort destinations in 2016 after the Russian government imposed ban on charter flights to Turkey and selling tour packages to the country over the downing of a Russian military aircraft by a Turkish jet in November 2015.

    The situation started to change in June, 2016, when Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan wrote a letter to Russian President Vladimir Putin in which he apologized for the downing of the Russian Su-24 attack aircraft over Syria and extended his condolences to the family of the pilot killed in the incident.

    On June 30, Putin signed a decree instructing the government to take steps aimed at lifting restrictions on tourist travel to Turkey as well as on charter flights between Russia and Turkey. The first charter flight to Turkey took place on September 2.

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    resort, tourists, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia, Antalya
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