President also calls for diversification in Turkey’s tourism market despite positive trend
Turkey’s policy on tourism is reaping “great results”, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Wednesday.
Turkey’s tourism market recovered quickly following last year’s losses in the sector.
Speaking at the third Tourism Council in capital Ankara, Erdogan highlighted the increasing number of tourists from Russia and the Gulf states, saying: “Our policy regarding tourism is reaping great results.
“We have left behind the worst [time] in tourism. And now, it’s time for ascension… Our state is fully behind the [tourism] sector.”
Around 27 million tourists chose Turkey in 2016 whereas 26 million tourists have already visited the country within the first 9 months of 2017, the president said.
He called for diversification in Turkey’s tourism market despite the positive trend.
“We should give priority to new tourism fields, including [getting tourists from] China, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, and South American countries,” Erdogan said, adding the country would be able to reduce the impact of regional developments on its tourism sector if Turkey could diversify its tourism market.
“But let’s not forget that tourism is a very sensitive industry,” as local, regional and international developments affect tourism, he said.
Erdogan hoped the declaration of 2018 as the Year of Troy would turn into an opportunity to address shortcomings in Turkey's tourism sector.
Turkey has all kinds of tourism opportunities from cultural to historical heritage, and nature to health tourism, he said.
The president also announced that a modern opera building would be built in place of the Ataturk Cultural Centre near Istanbul’s Taksim Square.
Launching of the construction project would be held on Monday while the building is expected to become operational by the end of 2019, he added.