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.
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.