Tourism revenue target of $35 billion within reach, says minister
Initial indicators, such as early reservations, suggest that Turkey’s target set for 2022 of generating $35 billion in tourism revenues is attainable, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has said.
Data in the first 40 days of this year, particularly for Istanbul and Antalya, show arrivals are close to their 2019 levels when the country’s tourism revenues reached an all-time-high, Ersoy said in a speech he delivered at the 25th East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT).
“Early reservations increased compared with last year. All those indicate our target of generating $35 billion in revenues is well within reach,” the minister said.
Tourism activity rebounded strongly in 2021 following a difficult and challenging year for the industry, and thanks to efforts coordinated by the Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) abroad and the Safe Tourism Certificate program, targets set for last year were overshot, Ersoy added.
“Last year, the number of foreign tourists increased by 88 percent from 2020 to more than 30 million people, while tourism revenues leaped 103 percent to stand at $24.5 billion.”
In 2019, Turkey welcomed a record number of 45 million tourists and in 2020, 12.7 million international holidaymakers visited the country.
Promoting Turkey abroad
This year campaigns will be launched, again to be coordinated by the TGA, particularly targeting holidaymakers in Central Europe, the Baltics and Gulf countries as well as the U.S., Ersoy said.
Promotional videos will be aired on TV channels in 21 nations, advertisements will be published and launched in print press in 15 countries and on digital platforms in 86 countries, respectively, according Ersoy.
“We are also developing stronger ties and increasing cooperation with the leading tour operators abroad to fully exploit Turkey’s potential and lure even more foreign tourists to the country,” the minister said.
He also noted that since the start of COVID-19, the ministry and players in the tourism industry acted swiftly to take necessary actions to weather the impact of the pandemic on the sector and the Safe Tourism Certificate program has been very instrumental in those efforts.
As of end-December 2021, nearly 11,500 tourism facilities and vehicles had been granted the Safe Tourism Certificate, up from 7,200 at the end of 2020, according to the minister.
He also noted that the participation of more than 200 companies from 51 countries at the EMITT is a testament to the success Turkey achieved in tourism last year.
As one of the top five tourism exhibitions worldwide, EMITT annually attracts large numbers of industry professionals and tourists looking for new travel opportunities from destinations and travel service companies from across the globe.