SAKARYA - Anatolia News Agency
The biggest reason for the increase in Arab tourist numbers is the TV series, according to officials. ‘Magnificent Century’ is one of these series, popular in Arab countries.
The airing of Turkish TV series in the Arab world has resulted in a 50 percent increase in the number of Arab tourists flocking to Turkey although long visa procedures are preventing even more from coming, according to an Egyptian tourism official.
“Arab tourists are especially after the places where TV series are shot. After the translation of these TV series into Arabic, Turkey is in demand in all the Arab countries,” Waheed Samy, the general director of Egypt’s Memphis Tours, said following a tourism meeting held by the Eastern Marmara Development Agency (MARKA) in the northwestern province of Sakarya.
At the same time, however, visa issues are hindering an expected increase in the number of tourists visiting Turkey, he said. “Obtaining a visa takes a week; if it were given in several days, the number of the tourists could be higher.”
Samy said Turkey had high potential in tourism. “Turkey is not only [attracting people] in Egypt, but is also very much in demand in [other] Arab countries. Arab countries now are very interested in Turkey. There are many reasons for Arab tourists to come to Turkey.”
Ultimately, the biggest reason for the increase in Arab tourist numbers is the TV series, Samy said.
“People see the beauty of Turkey and the lifestyle in these series. They adore Istanbul and the Bosphorus view especially,” he said. “‘Muhteşem Yüzyıl’ [Magnificient Century] is especially very popular in the Arab region. They want to see Topkapı Palace, where it takes place.”