MOSCOW, October 21. /TASS/. The tourist traffic from Russia to Turkey rose tenfold in the first half of 2017 on an annualized basis, Russian Energy Minister Alexander Novak said on Saturday on the air with Rossiya 24 TV Channel.
"The flow of tourists to Turkey increased significantly this year in view of lifting restrictions that were introduced earlier for charter transportation. We expect that about 1.6 mln people already visited Turkey according to data for six months, while there were just 168 thousand people in the same period last year. That is, the tourist traffic rose tenfold," Novak said.
Tourism is important for development of bilateral relations and Russia is also interested in growth of the tourist flow from Turkey, the minister added.
Previously, Russia suspended charter flights with Turkey in late October 2015. That was done after the Turkish Air Forces had attacked a Russian bomber that was on a mission in the sky over Syria as part of an anti-terrorist operation.
In August 2016, after the President of Turkey apologized for the incident and negotiations between the two leaders, the parties decided to start the restoration of ties. Russian experts from the Transport Ministry inspected the safety of Turkish airports and the sent a corresponding report to the government.
On August 28, 2016, Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed a decree on lifting the ban on charter air services between Russia and Turkey.