Russian Tourists Flock to Turkey During World Cup: Report

Eager to avoid crowded Turkish beaches later in the season, a great number of Russian tourists decided to spend the days of the soccer World Cup in Turkey’s Mediterranean resorts, Daily Sabah reports.

According to the Turkish news outlet, many of the Russians coming to Turkey have rented their apartments at home to soccer fans coming from around the world for the global sports gathering.

The 21st FIFA World Cup, scheduled to be held in Russia from June 14 to July 15, could also turn out to bring benefit for the Turkish economy, with European tourists planning flights to Russia with layovers in Istanbul, the report says.

Russia expects to welcome 1.5 million extra tourists during the World Cup. As the country’s hotels are fully booked, Russians have rented out their houses to tournament goers. As tenants occupy the houses of Russians during the FIFA event, the people of the host country will spend their holiday in Turkey.

Moreover, the increasing demand from the countries whose national football teams will compete at the event has skyrocketed tour and flight prices, leading to European tourists spending their vacations first in Istanbul and then flying to Russia.

One of Russia’s largest tour operators Anex Tour Chairman Neshet Kochkar stated that hotels in Russia are fully booked.

“Russians who reside in locations close to stadiums rent their houses for $600 to $1,000 per day. Those who want to avoid the rush and crowd during the tournament are preparing to come to Turkey with the money earned from (tournament) tenants,” he said. Kochkar stressed that Russia is poised to host 1.5 million tourists and generate $3 billion in revenues during the cup.

“The increase in Russian tourism will positively reflect on tourism. Russians like going on vacation and the first destination they think of is Turkey,” Kochkar said.