Turkey, Russia sign tourism action plan

Photo: Turkey, Russia sign tourism action plan / Turkey

Turkey has signed a new tourism agreement with Russia which will see the two countries run joint projects over the next two years Anadolu Agency reported.

Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism signed a joint action plan with the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism on Sunday to encourage cooperation between 2014 and 2016.

Meeting on the sidelines of the "Intourmarket 2014 Moscow: International Trade Fair for Travel & Tourism", Undersecretary at the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry Ozgur Ozaslan and Chairman of the Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (ROSTURIZM) Aleksandr Rodkov announced the deal.

The joint action plan aims to: encourage and boost tourist traffic between Turkey and Russia; set up a joint working group; increase travel safety and comfort; and further develop cooperation in international organizations.

As part of the new plan, a forum will be hosted in Turkey later this year to gather investors from both countries.

Ozaslan described it as a "real success story" that Turkey has preserved and even improved its place in Russian tourism market.

According to ROSTURIZM statistics for 2013, Turkey is the top holiday destination for Russian people.

"One of the key factors of this success is the cooperation between the ministries of the two countries. Turkish and Russian officials have held talks twelve times in different formats since 2010," he said.

Rodkov said the number of Russian tourists travelling to Turkey exceeded four million in 2013, "a 26 percent increase in one year".

"Likewise, 2013 saw a 28 percent rise when it comes to the number of Turkish tourists, which amounted to over 385,000" he added.

The fair, in its ninth year, brings together tourist companies and organizations from 148 countries and saw 450 participants this year.

Turkey continues to be the most popular holiday destination for Russians with over four million Russians having visited Turkey in 2013, mainly on the Mediterranean coast and the southern province of Antalya.

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