Turkey's Tourism Minister Nabi Avci told Anadolu Agency on Thursday he expected better visitor numbers in 2017, after a “difficult year”.
"Last year was a difficult year in terms of Turkish tourism [but] a serious bottleneck passed," Avci said, adding the industry was recovering and the number of tourists coming to Turkey so far this year had increased about 50 percent.
He also noted the Russian market had shown a serious recovery.
"If European politicians minimize their racist and xenophobic discourses to influence their citizens negatively, we will see that the number of [European] tourists will increase much faster for Turkey," Avci added.
Hakan Duran, chairman of Professional Hotel Managers’ Association on Thursday said his members expected to host about 3.5 million Russian and 1.5 million Ukrainian tourists in Turkey’s southern province of Antalya this year.
He said there had been a 3,500-visitor increase compared to the same period of last year.
Reporting by Leyla Ataman Koyuncuoglu; Writing by Safvan Allahverdi