Turkey is sounding the alarm: the flow of money to the “cash” from Russian tourists is rapidly declining

Turkey is sounding the alarm: the flow of money to the cash desk from Russian tourists is rapidly declining

Not only Greek tourists left Turkey without financial revenues to the treasury (details here), but also Russian ones. If the first ones independently decided to refuse trips to the resort country, then our compatriots were forced to reduce spending due to the blocking of Mir cards by a number of Turkish banks due to secondary sanctions from the United States and other Western countries.

Termination of private and by state banks in Turkey, the use of Russian “plastic” attached to the Mir payment system has had a negative impact on the domestic spending of Russian tourists and emigrants who have flooded the republic over the past few months.

Antalya Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ATSO) President David Çetin confirmed, according to Turizmajansi, that the cessation of the use of the Mir card has already negatively affected the purchases of Russian tourists in Turkey, and if nothing is changed, it will only get worse. “Those who have already arrived with a package tour have paid for their services in Russia. From the point of view of tourism, we do not see much impact. But when a tourist arrives in Antalya on his own, he will undoubtedly have problems both with paying for hotel accommodation and with retail expenses in shops or shopping centers. Because of this, there is a reduction in income within the country. This will not be a problem from a tourist point of view, but the cancellation of transactions with Mir cards will definitely have a strong impact on retail,” he explained.

Realizing the decrease in their own profitability from a solid flow of Russians, which formed after February 24 and September 21, 2022, the Turkish authorities began to look for a solution to renew “our” card system. A partial solution has already been found – the authorities are talking about creating a Russian-Turkish bank, but even here difficulties may arise.

“We need to find a solution as soon as possible. Tourists come with cash, but they can buy as much as their “cash” will allow them, with a card they could spend more. When they want to buy something in the shops at the hotel or in the shops outside the hotel, but cannot, tourists return to their country without purchases, because they have run out of cash. This is also a big problem for expats. They also used the Mir card, and at the moment we state that the system is not working. This, of course, will affect the Russians who live in Turkey. Undoubtedly, our countries are looking for a solution. It must be found on the Russian card system, if not, then our business will be seriously affected. This year, for example, domestic spending in tourist Antalya has grown significantly thanks to cashless payments, first with Visa cards, and then with Mir cards.

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