In 2020, data has shown that despite the coronavirus pandemic that decimated the tourism industry around the world to a standstill, Turkey remained the top destination for Russian tourists leaving Russia for holidays abroad during the summer and beyond towards the end of the year.
Russian visitor numbers in Turkey
ATOR (The Association of Tour Operators of Russia) recently published a report which detailed the tourism outlook from Russia on a whole. Within the report, data showed that the expectation for tourists from Russia to visit Turkey will total 1.6 million once final numbers have been counted.
In 2020, the arrivals of those travelling from Russia to Turkey fell by over 77% year on year when compared to 2019. In 2019 when the coronavirus had never even been heard of, there were over 9.6 million Russians that chose Turkey as their holiday destination during the summer.
In 2020, there were no countries that even came close to welcoming one million Russian tourist arrivals, with the only other country to rival Turkey in terms of arrivals from Russia being Thailand who welcomed just over 500,000 arrivals from Russia.
The report states that outbound tourism from Russia in general fell by an astonishing 77.5% in 2020 as most Russians chose to stay home without a summer holiday, or holiday within Russia itself.
Air Traffic Suspensions affecting travel to Turkey
On March 27, 2020, all international air traffic was suspended by Moscow in a bid to try and stem the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic throughout Russia. After several months of lockdown and social distancing, flights between Russia and Turkey were resumed as of August 10.
Within these flights, charter and scheduled planes also resumed flying between to two countries in an effort to transport thousands of Russian tourists to various resorts and popular holiday destinations in Turkey even as winter approached, showing that Turkey is still the number one choice for Russians.
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