Istanbul hosts Dan Brown's ‘Inferno’ tours
ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
During the one-day tour, organized by a a travel company, guests will be able to see how the writer of ‘Inferno,’ Dan Brown, observed Istanbul while visiting cultural and historical places.
U.S. writer Dan Brown recently released a new thriller, “Inferno,” which begins in Florence and then moves to Sienna before the novel’s mysterious events lead the characters to Istanbul, where the plot continues to unfold. The hero of the book, Robert Langdon, makes an important discovery in the Hagia Sophia museum.
Taking this as an opportunity, a tourism company has started Istanbul tours for those who want to see and learn about the city through the eyes of Brown. Serhan Güngör, a tourism company official, said he had been Brown’s guide during his trip to Istanbul, where he came for the introduction of his book “Lost Symbol” in 2009. He said they had planned a route for Brown’s three-day visit. “We visited the historical peninsula as well as the Hagia Sophia, Yerebatan Cistern, the Beyoğlu and Bebek neighborhoods and the historical city walls.”
Güngör said Brown had been highly impressed by Istanbul’s modernity and the city’s colorful lights, adding that the writer had combined the city’s historical and cosmopolitan tissue in his book.
He said the tour inspired by Brown’s book “Inferno,” named “Istanbul step by step,” would be held on June 23. “We have planned the tour with a travel company that organizes history, art, culture, music and archaeology tours. Parallel to the fiction in the book, we will bring local and foreign guests together with Istanbul. They will have a new perspective through the eyes of the writer. The one-day tour will also host talks about the book. The most important thing about the tour is that the guests will be able to see how the writer observed the city while visiting the cultural and historical places.”
Güngör said when he had first learned about his mission to guide Brown he thought he would organize a tour that would make him include Istanbul in his new book.
Using the opportunity
Güngör said tourism officials believed that the book would contribute to Turkey in the short and medium term. “If we make use the opportunity, Istanbul will become a tourism city just like Barcelona and Paris.”
He said the book was also a good opportunity to remove the bad image of Turkey caused by the film “Midnight Express.” “It is very important that a book that reaches millions of readers in the world features Turkey’s culture and tourism values. The writer writes about Istanbul with all its beauties. It will make contribution to the city, which is already having difficulty hosting millions of tourists.”
Güngör also noted that one of the biggest troubles for Istanbul tourism was transportation. “We drive tourists from the port to Sultanahmet Square almost in two hours. We have to discuss how we will host the increasing number of tourists. The pleasure of tourists is the best promotional tour in today’s world. This is why the substructure problems of the city should be handled. Another complaint of tourists is taxi drivers. We need to bring European standards for taxis and taxi drivers.”
Number of tourists rises in Istanbul
ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency
Istanbul was visited by nearly 4 million tourists in the first five months of the year with a 21 percent increase compared to the same period of last year, according to a statement made by the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate. In May the number of tourists who visited the city was 1,058,771, a 22 percent increase this year. For the first time, the number of tourists visiting Istanbul exceeded 1 million, breaking a record. According to their nationality, the highest number of tourists was from Germany with nearly 452,088.
Germans were followed by Russians with 252, 376, French with 185,693, U.S. citizens with 175,315, Italians with 173,528 and others from Britain, Iran, the Netherlands, Ukraine and Libya.