Russian & German tour operators compete to attract maximum tourists to Turkey

Published on : Thursday, March 12, 2020

TUI, the German tour operator which lost its lead in tourism in regards to bringing maximum tourists to Turkey – has managed in 2019 to get the first place. The race in 2020 will be between German and Russian tour operators, after the closure of U.K.-based tour operator Thomas Cook due to bankruptcy last year.


Last year, German TUI brought about 2.4 million tourists to Turkey, mostly to southern and western provinces and to Istanbul. Almost 1.8 million of the visitors went to the southern resort city Antalya, as per published article on Wednesday by Turkish daily Dünya which cited the information obtained by Incoming Report by Ekin Group. The report is organized for ITB Berlin and Moscow tourism fairs annually however was not decalred in 2020 because of the cancellation of the fairs in the middle of precautions and protocols to stop the virus spread. According to the report, Coral Travel of Oti Holding became second in the number of tourists coming to Antalya as Anex took second place in bringing the most tourists to the country in general.


The contest was largely between the German operator and Thomas Cook for several years before the 178-year-old British operator in September last year went broke. In a major distress, Thomas Cook, the oldest travel firm of the world, shrunk, stranding thousands of vacationers around the globe and sparking the largest peacetime repatriation effort in British history. With the TUI putting weight on Russian market, leadership in the incoming market was recalled by the German firm which was majorly managing the Europe-based markets before.


For tourism operators, Russian market remains key as Turkey has been a preferred destination among Russian travelers regardless of the political ups and downs between the two countries.


In 2019, Russian citizens accounted for 15.6% of all arrivals in Turkey, as per the figures from the Culture and Tourism Ministry. About 7 million Russians visited Turkey in 2019, the data showed. Their top travel destination was Turkey’s western Mediterranean coastline, Antalya.


Also, they have accounted for 7.3%, or over 130,600, of all international tourists who came in January of 2020; however, most prefer to come in the months following May.


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