Turkey aims to reach 48.5 million tourists

Turkey aims to reach 48.5 million tourists

ANKARA/ISTANBUL - Anadolu Agency
Turkey aims to reach 48.5 million tourists

Turkey hopes to host nearly 48.5 million tourists annually. AA photo

Turkey aims to reach around 48.5 million tourists annually between 2014 and 2018, a 4.6 percent increase over the 2007-2012 period, and increase tourism income per visitor $932, a 2.3 percent increase, in accordance with the targets in the latest economic development plan.

Tourism representatives say Turkey could easily reach these targets as soon as the negative outlook resulting from the countrywide antigovernment protests and harsh police action recovers.

The new economic development plan sets a series of strategies to reach the mentioned targets, such as more investments in winter tourism, cruise tourism, gold tourism and culture tourism. The number of foreign tourists who visited Turkey between 2007 and 2012 increased by 8.2 percent annually, providing $29.4 billion yearly revenue.

The Gezi Park protests have however cost Istanbul tourism 54.7 million euros, as almost 216,000 overnight stay reservations have been canceled since the beginning of the incidents, although the tourism in Anatolian cities has not affected yet, according to a report released by Turkey’s Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TUROB).

“If Turkey could give the message that things are normal now, I believe we, as tourism representatives, will not be affected negatively. I can say that the incidents have calmed down. The tourism sector can easily suffer from any social or economic incidents, but Turkey’s tourism sector has the capacity to overcome such crises,” TUROB President Timur Bayındır said.