Turkish warplanes have shot down a Russian military aircraft on the border with Syria. Turkish military officials said the plane was engaged after being warned that it was violating Turkish airspace. The crew ejected before the jet crashed, but Syrian rebels said at least one was dead. Following the incident, Russian Federal Agency for Tourism (Rostourism) issued a travel warning.
Russia's state tourism agency Rostourism said it is recommending suspending sales of tour packages to Turkey following the downing of the Russian warplane in Syria. Russian tour operator Natali Tours will halt sales of tours to Turkey in the near future.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has canceled his visit to Istanbul, due on Wednesday. The minister also pointed out the increasing level of the terror threat in Turkey, which is “not lower than in Egypt.” Lavrov said the ministry recommends Russians to refrain from visiting Turkey.
Russian tourists used to flock to Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast, particularly the resort city of Antalya. The Turkish tourism industry has already suffered from a difficult 2015 marked by political instability and regional violence in conjunction with a decline in one of the sector's biggest markets Russia.
Between January and October, Antalya alone saw the number of Russian tourists decline by 678,086, a 19.5 percent decline year-on-year.