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17 Mar, 2008 05:09

Russian tourist boom boosts Turkey’s economy

Russian tourists have become increasingly prominent in a number of global tourist destinations. In 2007 more than two million Russians visited Turkey, bringing economic benefits to the country's economy.

Russia's economy is growing strongly, creating a middle class with a taste for international travel and the money to do so. Another factor pushing Russians overseas, however, is that it’s becoming increasingly expensive to enjoy holidays in Russia. And this means that if ordinary Russians want some sun by the beach they head overseas, helped by cheaper flights, easing visa restrictions, and better organised tours.
The perception of Russian tourists is also changing.
“Russians have become welcome guests in many countries. They spend more and ask less. VIP tourism has also become popular. Russians no longer want to stay in two or three star hotels and are ready to pay more,” said Vladimir Kaganer, head of Tez Tour company.
Trade and cultural relations between Russia and Turkey are strengthening and tourism is playing an essential part. “Russian market is very important for Turkey, and I believe that Turkish market is also very important for Russian Federation,” said Alper Ozkan, Turkey Ministry of Tourism and Culture attaché.
Meantime, Russia and Egypt signed an agreement to regulate the tourist industry. The flow of tourists into Egypt has increased by 50 per cent in 2007. And Egyptian Minister of Tourism Zoheir Garranah says the flow of Russian investment into the country will only grow. “They contribute a lot to the flourishing of any country’s economy when they are around,” he said.