While interest in White Night tours increase; tourism operators are being forced to rent out planes to satisfy the demand.
The lifting of mutual visa regulations
between Turkey and Russia
will do more to benefit Turks than their Russian counterparts. While Russian travelers had to simply pay out 15-20 dollars at border gates, Turks used to have to endure a more complicated procedure to obtain visas. It is for this reason that tour operators believe there will be a significant increase in Turkish visitors to Russia.
According to Turkey's Hoteliers Federation (TÜ- ROFED) President Ahmet Barut, "I believe the lifting of visa regulations will be beneficial for both sides. For Russians it wasn't very difficult to travel to Turkey. They were able to purchase visas at the borders. For Turks getting a visa was more difficult. This situation will greater effect Turkish tours." TÜ- ROFED Executive Board Member Yusuf Hacısüleyman states that the lifting of visas for Russians will have more of a psychological effect than monetary. For Russians the lifting of visas is like offering a big welcome at the door. They used to wait in long lines; therefore this is a factor that will positively affect their vacations. The psychological effect of being able to enter a country without being hung up by bureaucracy is more significant than the financial factor."
LAST MINUTE INTEREST WILL INCREASE
Russia tours will decrease by 100 Euros in price due to the cost of visas and travel insurance. The tours that are receiving the most demand are the Moscow-St. Petersburg trip on May 19th and the St. Petersburg White Nights tour in June. According to Kappa Tur General Manager Kaan İşçil, interest will increase at the last minute.
ONLY TOURISTIC TRIPS ARE VISA-FREE
Visa free entry into the country is only valid for touristic trips. A single entry is valid for up to 30 days, and visitors are not allowed to stay over 90 days within six months. For business trips, visas are still required. Turkish Airlines
anticipates the number of tourists to fly from Turkey to Russia to increase threefold and has therefore increased their number of Istanbul – Moscow flights to five.
Women are also showing significant interest
Bamtur Foreign Operations Manager Eda Aner states that due to the intense demand this year, they have decided to rent a plane and they will be operating tours every week this summer. Aner also drew attention to the fact that although it is assumed males are more in demand of tours, half of those who make reservations are women.
STARTING FROM 599 EUROS
BAMTUR: Moscow-St. Petersburg (5 nights) June 599 Euros
ANITUR: Moscow- St. Petersburg (6 nights) May 16-22 769 Euros
KAPPA TUR: Moscow St. Petersburg May 599 Euros