Turkey targets over 75 mln tourists in 2023
Turkey targets to welcome more than 75 million foreign tourists and $65 billion in revenues from tourism activity in 2023, Tourism and Culture Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said in Istanbul on Sept. 27, which marked World Tourism Day.
The minister unveiled the details of the country’s Tourism Strategy 2023, which, according to Ersoy, aims to make tourism one of the strategically significant sectors in Turkey.
According to the latest data from the ministry, a total of 24.7 million foreign tourists visited the country in January through July, a 14-percent increase from a year ago.
In 2018, foreign tourist arrivals increased nearly 22 percent from the previous year to 39.45 million.
The country’s tourism revenues rose to $14.5 billion in the first seven months of the year from $12.8 billion in the same period of 2018, showed the Central Bank’s balance of payments data.
Net tourism revenues, meanwhile, jumped to $12.1 billion in January to July of this year from $9.8 billion a year earlier.
“Turkey is switching to a sustainable and income-driven model in tourism for the first time,” Minister Ersoy said, adding that the strategy was developed within the scope of targets set in the government’s 11th Development Plan.
“We are planning to meet those targets by increasing the average spending of a tourist and raising the number of average nights from 9.9 to 10 and thus reaching the average level of spending of $86 dollars per night.”
Ersoy noted that the ministry’s promotional budget has been increased from $18 million in 2018 to $72 million in 2019.
The ministry aims to expand the promotional budget further to $180 million in 2020 and to $220 million in 2023.
The minister expects the number of visitors with high spending potential to increase in years to come.
Turkey will focus on the main markets that are currently sending large volumes of tourists to the country, such as China, India, South Korea, and Japan.
Measures will be taken to bring more visitors from Far Eastern and Pacific countries via direct flights, according to the minister.
“All Turkish Airlines destinations are now our target markets. We engage in mutual extra slot commitments with China, Japan, India and South Korea.”
“We will develop new products. We will add new ones among our cities registered by UNESCO. We will draw a ‘Taste Map of Turkey’ and create gastronomy routes,” he said.
Turkey will also take steps to promote to improve health tourism and increase the shopping expenditures of tourists.
“We will focus on many fields ranging from educational tourism to sports, faith tourism, congress tourism, festivals and to cruise-yacht tourism,” Ersoy said.