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Turkey’s New Tourism Strategy

Posted on 23 November 2017

After boosting their travel and tourism industries to record-breaking levels, Turkey took a knock after a series of events over the last two years kept visitors away. A disagreement with Russia severely affected the Antalya region, which has for many years, heavily relied on Russian holidaymakers.

Likewise, Europeans concerned about the civil war in Syria drastically mistook the shared border between Syria and Turkey as a reason to stay away. Many top tourist destinations also suffered when a series of terrorist attacks in global cities resulted in people giving up travel altogether.

However, Turkey has weathered the storm, and by the time summer 2017 came about, people started slowly drifting back. The country is determined though, that they will not suffer the same losses that occurred in 2015 and 2016.

Diversifying Turkey’s Tourism Plan

At the Third Tourism Council of Turkey, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Turkey’s tourism plan will now be to diversify tourist’s nationalities, and this is already seen in Turkey’s efforts to court China and India.

China has declared 2018 to be the year of travel to Turkey, and meetings with Indian travel agents, as well as incentives, expect to raise the number of Indians travelling to experience the delights of Turkey. Other countries they are targeting include South America and South Korea.

In the first nine months of 2017, Turkey gained 26 million dollars in tourism revenues however they want more income from the global travel industry that currently generates 7 trillion USD a year.

For anyone not aware of Turkey’s tourism plan with a deadline of 2023, the diversification of nationalities may seem like a smart idea, but diversification has always been part of the project.

Although Turkey has more than 7000 kilometres of coastline fronting the Aegean, Mediterranean, Marmara and Black seas, for many decades, it has done much more than just promote itself as the ideal beach holiday destination.

Spa tourism has taken off in regions like Izmir and medical tourism like hair transplants, and eye laser surgery are now extremely popular with foreigners because it is cheaper than in their home countries.

Adventure sports have featured heavily in the attractions of the Antalya region, while history has boosted the whole nation, especially Istanbul, a former capital ruling centre for both the Byzantine and Ottoman empires.

Art, food, shopping and entertainment adverts also appeared in many media and print publications around the globe. Although the ski resorts of Turkey are yet to gain worldwide recognition, the ability to present itself as a country that suits every type of traveller has always been Turkey’s ace card.

Public-Private Business Model for Turkey’s Tourism

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism followed up the latest news with an announcement saying they are looking at more projects with a mutual public-private sector cooperation business model.

Infrastructure projects such as airports, railways, and energy facilities are typically where the government commissions the private sector, but they want to extend the model to tourism establishments and amenities.

They experimented with the private-public model for nine tourism facilities, and these have proved successful, as has Turkey’s social media promotion. The social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Google plus currently reaches 6.5 million people, making it the fourth most extensive campaign in the world, following Australia, Dubai, and the United States

One characteristic is evident about Turkey’s tourism plan, and it is that the country is resilient and refuses to take a back seat on the global travel scene. For more tourism news coming out of Turkey, follow Spot Blue on Facebook.

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