30 billion dollar loss in tourism income
Turkish tourism is coming to life and occupancy rates are increasing this year but it does not bring money in return since it does not attract western tourists with “money.”
Of course, I am not a tourism expert but I will look at the problem from a different perspective. The problem cannot be solved by only increasing promotion campaigns. A solution can be found by looking at the subject “from another perspective.” In other words, by looking at our image in the society of the tourists with “money” whom we expect to come to our country.
There are many tourists but
President of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD) Oya Narin, spoke to daily Hürriyet the other day.
“Tourism was at its worst stage in 2016. In 2017, it looks as if there is improvement. But there is a big decline in income. We will feel it much more by the end of this year. We expect a 30 billion dollar loss in the tourism sector when we include the next two years with the last year!” said Narin.
Narin also said they prepared a plan to improve the situation and will present it to the government. It will surely help but is the solution only a matter of a “plan?”
Not only to boost tourism but also in order to increase our efficiency in foreign politics we should reconsider Turkey’s perception to the outside world and improve it.
But of course, if we say “We are faced by a crusade mentality, they cannot stand Turkey’s development” then there is nothing else to do. That is the point, where words fail.
Well-educated and wealthy
The tourists who came to Turkey in the bad period of 2016, spent $602 on average, whereas Turkish tourists who went abroad spent $973!
Why is that?
Who are the Turkish people travelling abroad and spending that amount of money? They are the ones whose education level and income are higher. They search for different cities, museums, theatres, and concerts when they go abroad. The tourists coming to Turkey are the ones whose priorities are the “sea, beach, cheap hotels, and food” and they do not spend much money.
Of course, “more commercials” can be effective in attracting wealthier, well-educated western and eastern tourists but what is more important is that Turkey should have a better image for the “well educated and wealthy” parts of the world.
The cultural and intellectual interests of the well-educated and high income tourists are higher and more varied. They read more newspapers and books. Besides financial comfort, “concepts” are also important for them. The negative effects of terror and coup attempts are obvious.
There can be terror in any country. But when our leaders present Turkey as a “country which cannot be ruled without the state of emergency [OHAL]” in its internal affairs, does it not increase the negative effects even more?
Therefore, the business world rightfully says, “The state of emergency must end.”
Was this government not fighting against terror before the state of emergency? Of course, they were. On top of it, there is a lot of news saying the state of emergency is being used for political pressure. How about the politicians declaring professional journalists as terrorists in order to create the feeling that “danger is big” in domestic affairs. What kind of image does that create? And how about expelling academicians from the universities and banning them from going abroad? How does all that contribute to its image?
This makes people see Turkey as either a “very dangerous” country or one with an “authoritarian” government.