Ukraine a key source market for Turkish inbound tourism

So far this year, Turkey has seen a significant uplift in Ukrainian tourists cross its borders. Over the first six months of 2017, 530,000 Ukrainians tourists travelled to Turkey, 22% more than in 2016, reports BBC Ukraine.

Which regions of Turkey?

The most popular destinations for Ukrainians remain Istanbul and Antalya.

The first half of 2017 brought 282,000 Ukrainians to Antalya, 44% more than 2016, according to Antalya International Airport. This makes Ukrainians the third largest tourist group to the region. Münir Karaloğlu, Governor of the Antalya Province, reported that the province is expecting to welcome around 750,000 Ukrainian tourists over 2017.

The Muğla province –  Fethiye, Dalaman, Bodrum, and Marmaris – saw a 55% increase in Ukrainian tourists to reach 46,000. Smaller destination İzmir saw an enormous 184% increase (2,086 tourists) due to a new charter programme.

What’s driving the growth?

As of 1 June 2017, Ukrainian and Turkish citizens can now travel between the two countries without passports. National ID cards are now sufficient for travel up to 90 days. Andrii Sybiha, Ukraine’s ambassador in Ankara told reporters “Last year, more than 1 million tourists came from Ukraine to Turkey and more than 200,000 Turkish tourists travelled to Ukraine. Thanks to this agreement, we expect a 30% increase in these numbers this year.”

Turkey’s growing popularity among Ukrainians also has a lot to do with a rise in the frequency of flights to Turkey, particularly from regional airports such as Kharkiv, Vinnytsia, Zaporizhia, Lviv, and Kherson.