Turkey may lose 500K tourists after Russia’s flight curbs


Turkish Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said the country might lose nearly 500,000 tourists by June in the wake of Russia’s decision to impose flight restrictions.

“There might be a fall of nearly 500,000 in tourist numbers,” Ersoy was quoted as sayingon Wednesday by Xinhua news agency.

The Minister said no problems have been observed with summer bookings so far, and the end date of the ban could be brought forward depending on the decrease in Covid-19 case numbers.

On Monday, Russia decided to reduce the number of regular and charter flights with Turkey from April 15 to June 1 to curb the spread of the pandemic.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, meanwhile, said a Russian delegation would visit Ankara to observe the pandemic-related measures in the field, according to media reports.

Despite a mass Covid-19 inoculation drive launched in January in Turkey, the daily cases hit a record high of more than 59,000 on Tuesday.

Turkey has imposed a “partial closure” for the first two weeks of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan to curb the infections surge.

The new measures took effect on Wednesday evening.