Tourism Update from Turkey

Turkey’s tourism sector smoothly entered September having received a boost from domestic travellers. The Turkish government extended the annual public holiday for Kurban Bayram, known as the feast of sacrifice to 10 days.

Experts say this encouraged more than 1 million Turks to hit the open road for extended family holidays, therefore generating an extra 1 billion Turkish Liras for hotels, airlines, bars, restaurants and excursion agents.

Osman Ayık, president of the Turkish Hoteliers Federations welcomed the move while vice president of the Aegean Touristic Hoteliers Association also said it is a boost to the economy. Despite objections by the Economy Minister Nihat Zeybekci who voiced concerns about a drop-in productivity, many tourism experts backed the extended holiday.

Famous Visitors Arrive in Turkey

Boris Johnson, the British Foreign Secretary, came to Turkey with his family for a discreet, and relaxing holiday of the Mediterranean coast. Secretly landing at Dalaman airport, they transferred to the small upmarket resort of Gocek, to board a sailboat to visit various spots over a week long holiday.

In contrast to Boris Johnson’s discreet visit, a prince of the Saudi royal family generated much hype after he landed at Bodrum airport, with more than 300 suitcases. Bodrum is often the chosen destination for many wealthy and influential citizens of the world.

Travel Channel to Feature Turkey

A U.S.-based television network will highlight Turkey’s tourist destinations and attractions as part of a travel series. The Turkish Tourism Ministry announced British actor Larry Lamb would present the episodes filmed in various locations across the country including Istanbul old city, Ephesus, Pamukkale and Cappadocia.

The project is a collaboration between the Turkish Tourism Ministry and the Travel Channel which broadcasts in 22 languages across 74 countries. Viewers in Britain, Middle East, Europe and Africa will be able to access the six-part series.

Ulubey Canyon Rising in Popularity

Often Called Turkey’s equivalent of the Grand Canyon, Ulubey in the Uşak district has seen a dramatic increase of more than 250,000 visitors over the last two years. A new 131-meter viewing platform made from glass is cited as the reason.

It is just one of many action plans that are part of the Park Canyon Project aiming to make the region a top tourist destination. Mainly attracting nature lovers through its campsites and walking trails, the area is yet to attract foreign tourists, but in the future, this is expected to change.

Turkey Looks to China

Turkey has announced a major tourism initiative to attract 1 million Chinese tourists every year by 2018. The project is part of a ten-year initiative to annually generate $50 billion by 2023 from foreign and domestic tourists.

2018 is “Turkey tourism year” in China. Many Chinese experts agree that there is potential to increase Chinese tourism to Turkey and with a comprehensive marketing and PR plan, it is achievable.

Since Chinese tourists are not beach lovers like the Europeans, local and historical attractions will be marketed to them. Already 95% of Chinese tourists to Turkey visit Pamukkale in the Denizli region and this local landmark is the perfect model to pave the way for other attractions.

Chinese visitors to Turkey have already risen from 98,000 in 2011, to 313,000 in 2015. From January to May of 2017, Turkey hosted 81,000 Chinese tourists. Industry experts say TV marketing in Chinese, attendance of tourism fairs and more flight routes between the main cities in both countries can have a considerable impact on achieving their goal.

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