Istanbul a tourism priority in 2015, as more foreigners visit Turkey

Promoting Istanbul as a city destination and a place to do business and exhibit are priorities for Turkey in 2015, said the Turkish Culture and Information Office at the World Travel Market in November.

Turkey plans to capitalise on Istanbul’s being named the world’s top destination in the 2014 TripAdvisor Travellers Choice Awards. Meetings, incentives, conferences and events (MICE) business is also important for Turkey in 2015, said Turkey’s Culture and Information Office. In 2013 the country was voted the world’s best destination for conferences of between 300-500 people by the International Congress and Convention Association.

Meanwhile, the World Travel Market has been an ideal opportunity to highlight that two sites in Turkey have been added to the UNESCO World Heritage List, namely Pergamon together with Bursa and Cumalikizik, and the new skiing centre at Mount Erciyes in Kayseri, close to the established tourism centre of Cappadocia.

Turkey’s tourism revenue hit an all-time record for the January to September period of 2014, reaching $26.6 billion, according to data released by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Turkey welcomed more than 30 million visitors in the first nine months of the year, rise 6.1 per cent year-on-year. Turkey is the sixth most popular holiday destination in the world welcoming more than 35 million foreign visitors, according to 2013 data from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO).

This year the country is expected to welcome 43 million tourists, with a revenue target of $36 billion, according to a forecast made by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.

Increasing tourist numbers and a rising tourism status around the world is good news for the Turkey’s real estate market, as owning property in Turkey becomes more sought after and rental opportunities grow.