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MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Turkey lost $840 million from a contraction in the tourist flow from Russia in the first half of 2016, according to data released by the Association of Tour Operators of Russia (ATOR) on Tuesday.
"As the Russian tourist flow has shrunk by 87% this year, Turkey has lost $840 million. Instead of 1.5 million Russians in the first half of 2015, Turkey received only about 184,000 tourists from Russia in the current year," the association said in a statement.
Overall, Turkey received $9 billion from tourism in the first six months of 2016 compared with $12.6 billion in the first half of 2015.
Analysts of the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) attribute the dramatic fall in revenues to the aggravation of the security problem and a huge drop in the tourist flow from Russia.
Experts estimate that losses of the Turkish tourist sector will amount to no less than $5 billion this year, which will weaken the country’s GDP by 0.5%
In ATOR’s estimates, a total of 2.44 million tourists visited Turkey in June or almost 41% less than in the same month a year ago, registering the record fall in the tourist flow for the past 22 years.
Russian President Vladimir Putin lifted on June 30 the country’s ban on the sale of tour packages for Russians to Turkey and instructed the government to take measures to lift the ban on charter flights between the two countries.
The decree on the sanctions against Turkey was signed on November 28, 2015 after a fighter jet of the Turkish Air Force shot down a Russian Su-24 bomber.
Apart from charter carriages and the sale of tour packages, Russia also imposed restrictions in a whole number of other sectors at that time. Thus, Russia restricted the importation of some Turkish goods and imposed a ban on vegetables and fruits constituting the basis of Turkey’s exports.