Turkish resorts have figured out a way to compensate for the losses from Russia’s sanctions

In the report “the Impact of the Russian sanctions on the economy of Antalya, and possible measures” submitted on 11 February by the Minister of culture and tourism of Turkey Mahira Unal, and head of the chamber of Commerce of Antalya Davuto by çetin, stated that in 2015, Antalya already faced a reduction in tourist arrivals from Russia by 18%. Major challenge for the region also creates a ban on the import of Turkish vegetables and fruits to Russia accounted for 2/3 of agricultural exports from Antalya.

The head of Ministry and head of the chamber of Commerce of Antalya offer their own measures by which the region can offset losses from Russian sanctions. To minimize losses, in their opinion, should be created a special Council on crisis management, which must develop a specific plan of action. For promotions and PR of Antalya, according to the authors of the report, should be allocated about $500 million.

Special hopes the authors of the report associated with the world exhibition (EXPO) that will work in Antalya from 23 April to 30 October 2016. In the report, the exhibition is named “a major opportunity to promote the region.” Officials propose to promote the exhibition through invitations Western pop stars Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Justin Bieber. Binding the authors of the report consider the development of alcohol tourism — for this they call on the government to reduce the excise duty on alcohol. In addition, for the development of tourism, the report said, Turkish Airlines and SunExpress have to open new direct flights to Antalya from various cities in the world.

The authors of the report call attention to the tourism markets of China and India — the influx of tourists from these countries, in their opinion, can compensate for the loss of Russian tourists.

The report also describes four scenarios for the Russian segment of the tourist market of Antalya. In the worst case once the tourist season (in Turkey — from may to October) the decline in tourist arrivals from Russia will be accompanied by a declining interest in Turkey from tourists from other countries – in the aggregate this will lead to the fact that the economy will lose us $4.5–5 billion Other negative scenario assumes the loss of Turkey 90% of the Russian market, which will reduce the region’s income $3 billion.

The reduction in the number of tourists from Russia by 50% with a simultaneous increase in the number of tourists from other countries the authors of the report believe an optimistic scenario — but even with this scenario, the region will still lose about $1 billion. Finally, in the best case, according to the report, Russia will take Turkey imposed sanctions to the beginning of the tourist season. However, as emphasized by the authors of the report, such a development is extremely unlikely.

The evaluation of the chief editor of the portal for professionals of tourism TourDom.ru Dmitry Danilenko, the tourist season in 2016 Turkey will lose about 75% of Russian tourists, as the bulk of tourists from Russia to Turkey used the services of tour operators. According to the European Bank for reconstruction and development (EBRD), in 2014, Russian tourists accounted for about 12.2% from the total tourist arrivals in Turkey. They brought about $3 billion of revenue in the budget of Turkish (about 0,3–0,4% of the Turkish GDP).

Russia has imposed sanctions against Turkey in late November, after the Turkish air force has shot down a Russian su-24 bomber. In response Russia has canceled a visa-free regime with Turkey, banned travel companies sell tours to Turkey, as well as imposed a ban on import of Turkish vegetables and fruits. In December 2015, the EBRD forecast a decline of GDP growth of Turkey by 0.3–0.7 percent due to the Russian sanctions. The largest European touroperator TUI in early February reported that the demand for tours to Turkey for the summer period fell by 40%. Falling demand in Europe was preceded by the January terrorist attack on Sultanahmet square in Istanbul, which killed 11 people.