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TOURISM >Turkish association wants TV series stars to lure Latin American tourists

ISTANBUL

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The Turkish Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TUROB) is hoping to see Turkish TV series stars used to promote Turkey as a tourism destination in Latin America. 

The TUROB said the popularity of Turkey in Latin America as a tourism destination has been rising mainly thanks to Turkish TV series, which are broadcasted in the region. 

“Even if a long distance between Turkey and the Latin American countries constitutes a problem, we have seen Turkey has become quite popular in these countries thanks to several Turkish TV series which are broadcasted there. Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry should use the stars of these popular TV series to promote our sector in Latin America,” said the association in a follow-up press release after its visit to Brazil and Argentina. 

Turkey hosts around 200,000 Latin American tourists annually. Some 70 percent of these tourists are from Brazil and Argentina, according to TUROB figures. 

In a bid to diversify Turkey’s tourism markets, the association attends fairs in new potential markets, including ABAV 2015 in Brazil and FIT 2015 in Argentina, amid decreasing foreign tourists visiting Turkey, especially from Russia. 

Although the number of Latin American tourists visiting Turkey showed a slight decrease over this year compared to last year, these countries have great potential to send many more tourists to Turkey, as hype has been created among Latin Americans through Turkish TV series, said the association. Turkish drama series “1001 Nights” and “Suleiman the Magnificent” have become quite popular in Latin America. After huge success in Chile and Colombia, “1001 Nights” premiered on channel “El Trece” in Argentina, followed by Brazil, Peru, Uruguay and Bolivia. 

Ergün Demir, a Turkish-French actor who took a role in the series, even moved to Argentina and started programs there. 

Francisco Villanueva, the vice president at Miami-based Somos Distribution, said his firm had sold “about 10” Turkish series - either adaptation rights or complete productions - in five Latin American countries.

“Interest is growing and we’re getting a lot of business proposals,” he told Agence France-Presse in December 2014.

October/26/2015

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