Turkey eyes more visitors from Middle East to boost growth - GulfToday

Turkey eyes more visitors from Middle East to boost growth


Can Dizdar, Turkish ambassador to the UAE (4th from left), along with other top officials during his visit to ATM 2019.

Sajjad Ahmad, Staff Reporter

Turkey, one of the world’s largest tourism destinations, is all set to attract a huge number of visitors from the Middle East as the country sees this region is a big contributor to its tourist inflow, said Salih Ozer, Attache of Culture and Information, Turkey to the UAE.

He said during the Arabian Travel Market that the UAE is our core market and we have witnessed a 12 per cent increase in tourist arrival to Turkey from the UAE in the first two months of 2019. We are working with big travel agencies in the UAE and our expectations for the current is very high.

He said that we are exploring more alternative destination for tourists.

Turkey is participating currently at the Arabian Travel Market (ATM), with an 800-square metre stand that will host 35 leading travel and tour operators collectively serving one of the world’s largest tourism markets.

Salih Ozer said that “Turkey’s participation at the ATM 2019 seeks to rebrand the country as a luxury tourism destination while retaining its appeal among average budget travellers. Its 800-square metre exhibition stand is split into two sub-pavilions: one under the Ministry of Tourism, and the other under Turkish Airline.”

Turkey will welcome 50 million tourists in 2019, according to the government’s projection.

This projection is further rooted in the increased interest in Gobeklitepe — cited one of the most significant archeological discoveries of the 21st century, this twelve-thousand year old temple was added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, and is expected to draw heavy interest from the scientific community, historians and tourists alike.

Turkey welcomed just over 46 million visitors in 2018, including 39.49 million foreigners and 6.62 million Turkish citizens from abroad. The country recorded $29.5 billion worth of earnings from foreign tourist spending in 2018.

Turkish Pavilion, located in Hall No 8, Stand No. EU6210, offers a glimpse of the country’s fusion of rich Euro-Asian, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures. Tour operators planning to increase their business with Turkish counterparts can visit the stand and engage with the participants representing Turkey’s hotels, serviced apartments, tour operators and travel agents.

Turkey’s participation at the ATM comes at a time when the country seeks to increase its earnings from the tourism sector, which is expected to be worth $100 billion by 2023, according to recent reports.

Salih Ozer said, “Tourism is one of the largest economic sectors in Turkey, and we are now focusing on the luxury travel destinations and services that will raise the profile of Turkey on the global tourism map. We welcome travel and tour operators from across the region to our pavilion at the ATM to strengthen their ties with our travel and tourism partners.”

He added, “Turkey remains an oasis of peace and tranquility and offers a large number of tourism attractions. It offers greater value for money when compared to other popular tourism destinations across the world.”

Turkey is one of the largest outbound tourism markets for people living in the Gulf countries. Tourism revenues increased 12.3% reaching $29.5 billion in 2018, in comparison with $26.2 billion the revenues collected in 2017. Official data revealed that 81.8% of the income came from foreign visitors and 18.2% from Turkish citizens living abroad.

Turkey is one of the world’s most popular tourism destinations. In 2017, it ranked as the eighth largest tourism destination in terms of the number of international tourist arrivals.

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