Turkish ambassador: visa regime restrains the growth of Turkish tourist flow to Russia
Turkish Ambassador to Russia Mehmet Samsar said that the need to obtain Russian visas for Turkish citizens is the main obstacle for the growth of tourist flow.
“Turkish tourists are also interested in Russia. Unfortunately, the visa regime that Russia still applies for Turkish citizens is the biggest obstacle in this interesting destination. I believe that after Russia introduced a visa-free regime for Turkish citizens, the number of tourists from Turkey to Russia will increase significantly," he said in an interview.
Russia suspended the visa-free regime with Turkey on January 1, 2016, after Turkish forces shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber on the border with Syria. Later this measure was partially mitigated - the right for visa-free entry to Russia was obtained by Turkish citizens with special passports, drivers and diplomats. However, tourists still have a visa regime.
In 2015, the number of tourist arrivals from Turkey to Russia amounted to almost 140 thousand people, and Turkey itself was on the fourth position in this indicator. But in 2016, Turkey did not enter in the TOP-25 countries in terms of tourist arrivals.