Speaking to the Hurriyet Daily News in an article last Monday, Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey Tourism and Culture Minister, said he is confident the country can achieve a “full recovery” in 2018. This is great news given the struggles the industry has gone through over the past two years.
“With 36 million, 2014 was the year when we had had the highest number of tourists. In 2018 I think we will reach that number again”, said Kurtulmus during the interview.
Speaking of past events;
During the interview the Minister acknowledged the main issues Turkey has faced; the failed military coup of 2016, the terrorist attacks, the Russian crisis, and the Islamophobia surrounding the elections in Europe last year. He remained positive saying tourism figures rose from 24 million tourists in 2016 to 30.7 million during the first 11 months of last year. He also pointed out that this was a good recovery and to achieve the 36 million target we enjoyed in 2014 was not unrealistic.
How Turkey intends to achieve 2014 numbers.
Kurtulmus assured the Hurriyet Daily News that measures are now firmly in place to deal with the four issues mentioned. That the relationship with Russia is now back on track and that strict anti-terrorism policies and procedures are now in place. The Ministry is running many diverse incentives to attract more tourists during 2018 and so far figures are showing a significant rise in bookings and interest. ABTA, one of the largest tourism companies in the UK, has said there has been a 66% increase in early reservations for 2018. Promotion of the countries halal, health and winter tourism are also starting to pay off, as are efforts to lure over visitors from China and the Far East. The Minister reassured readers, “the most difficult period has now been left behind and we are experiencing a fast recovery”.
To view the full interview, please see Hurriyet Daily News. Hopefully, this will indeed be the case and all of us along the coast can look forward to a happier and more profitable new year.
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