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Turkish Tourism News Highlights w/e 18th August 2017
Picks from the Press w/e 18th August 2017

Turkish Tourism News Highlights w/e 18th August 2017

Bayram holiday extended to 10 days, Turkey aims to be a top medical tourism destination, Kekova sunken city may open up for divers, International Trade Fair taking place in Izmir and Turkey aiming to be the setting for Bollywood movies. Take a look at this weeks press picks and highlights.

Kurban Bayram (Feast of Sacrifice) extended to 10 days from August 28th

It was announced last Tuesday that Eid Al-Adha (Kurban Bayram or Feast of Sacrifice) has been extended to 10 days in Turkey. Bekir Bozdag, Deputy Prime Minister told the press that the decision had been made by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his cabinet to allow Turkish citizens the opportunity to enjoy time with family and to visit resorts and locations in an attempt to boost tourism and economy.

The national holiday will start on August 28th and end on September 3rd. Please do keep in mind that public offices, schools, government buildings and banks will be closed during this period.

Health tourists visiting Turkey spend 10 times more than normal tourists according to the Daily Sabah (August 15th, 2017) 

According to an article in the Daily Sabah new figures released by the Association of Health Strategies and Social Policies (SASOMER) show tourists coming to Turkey for medical procedures and cosmetic surgery spend on average 10 times more than your average holidaymaker. This comes at a time when Turkey is pushing to diversify its tourist catchment with health tourism firmly on the agenda.

Turkey is becoming well known for its excellent medical and dental care. Even here at Oceanwide Properties, we know of many foreigners that have opted to have their dental work or medical checks and procedures done in Turkey rather than the UK. The private healthcare in Turkey is superb and offered at a fraction of the cost compared to many European countries. Health tourism is a massive $300 billion global market and Turkey makes around $2.3 billion from foreigners heading to the likes of Istanbul, Izmir and Antalya for procedures each year. It is SASOMERs hope that they can raise this figure to $5 billion over the next 3 years.

“Can a hidden underwater city bring tourists back to Turkey?” asks the Telegraph (August 11th, 2017)

For those that haven’t taken a trip to Kekova in Antalya Province, you are missing out! Christine Ro writing for the travel pages of the Telegraph described it as, “a beautiful and tranquil place, with water a jewelled shade of blue” – and that it certainly is not unlike much of the Aegean and the Mediterranean coast of Turkey.

The area has long attracted tourists due to the sunken ancient city of Simena, a trading post destroyed by earthquakes back in the second century. The site is on the UNESCO World Heritage Site tentative list for inclusion. For over 30 years it has been declared a Specially Protected Area by the Turkish government and as such, underwater exploration was banned. But this may all change. Munir Karaloglu, Antalya’s Mayor, wants to open up the site for diving and exploration. According to the paper he believes, “efforts to diversify tourism alternatives have begun to bring in results and interest in diving tourism has increased, if permission is received from the ministries, diving tourism will be available with the help of guides and archaeologists in Kekova”.  Is this for the best? That remains to be seen. We are sure divers from across the world would relish the opportunity to explore such a wonderful site, but it could also cause considerable damage if not properly regulated. Would it boost tourism? What are your thoughts?

Turkey is stepping up promotional campaigns in Asia and India in an attempt to lure over more tourists.

The Daily Sabah ran an article on August 11th, “Turkish gov’t to expand domestic tourism market with promotional organisations in Asia”.  As part of the government’s campaign to attract more than 50 million tourists by 2023,  The Culture and Tourism Ministry is now working with various travel and promotion agencies to push Turkey and tourism across Asia. We reported last week on how the government are hoping to diversify tourism in Turkey; suggesting it as a great destination for health, winter, sports and eco travel. This, alongside the influx of Chinese expected to grace our shores with 2018 declared ‘Turkey Tourism Year’ in China. But it doesn’t stop there – Turkey is now to be advertised as the ideal wedding destination, or Bollywood film location to the Indian market, and increased marketing measures are already in place to attract more South Koreans. Let’s hope the publicity pays off and we are all busier entertaining foreign guests as a result.

Izmir International Fair expected to strengthen Turkish/Russian economic ties (Daily Sabah 17th August 2017)

Politicians and business heads from Turkey and Russia are expected to strengthen economic ties at the 86th Izmir International Fair this coming week. The fair, one of the longest running in the world, takes place at Kulturpark (Culture Park) starting today and running until August 27th. The Russian delegation totalling 241 will include 3 Ministers. The main theme of the fair this year is energy and the President of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov and 12 other ministries from 23 countries are expected to attend. From Turkey, Nihat Zeybeki the Economy Minister, Natural Resources Minister Berhat Albayrak and Industry and Technology Minister Faruk Ozlu will all be present.

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