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Ukrainian tourists flock to Turkey’s Antalya despite pandemic

Ukrainian tourists flock to Turkey’s Antalya despite pandemic

Despite the pandemic, some half a million Ukrainian tourists have flocked to a scenic resort on the Turkish Riviera since flights there resumed this summer, said a top tourism official on Friday.

“Almost 500,000 Ukrainian tourists have visited Antalya since July,” said Nadir Alpaslan, Turkey’s deputy culture, and tourism minister, touting the strong numbers in the face of challenging conditions due to coronavirus.

Last year, nearly 1.6 million Ukrainian tourists vacationed in sunny Antalya, Alpaslan told a meeting of the Turkey-Ukraine Joint Tourism Commission in the Mediterranean resort city.

He stressed that tourists feel comfortable visiting Turkey thanks to its special Safe Tourism Certificate program, which sets comprehensive safety standards in all areas, from airlines to accommodation, for Turkish citizens, international visitors, and tourism employees.

At the meeting, the countries signed a protocol for collaboration in the field of tourism.

Larysa Petasiuk, Ukraine’s deputy culture and information policy minister, said her country and Turkey enjoy strong relations.

Ukrainian citizens find Turkey safe and healthy, she said, adding: “We want Turkish citizens to visit our country, and ours to visit Turkey. Turkey is very safe for tourism.”

During the meeting, the countries shared their experiences in tourism and evaluated tourism’s potential, according to a statement from Alpaslan.