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Published on : Tuesday, November 14, 2017
After a massive decline in the number of visitors to Turkey in 2016, a year that included a series of terror attacks and one failed coup, the tourism industry of the country is seeing a recovery this year. According to information by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the rising trend in the number of tourists was reflected in the 26 million tourists who came to Turkey in the first nine months of this year.
Cengiz Aydın, the deputy general director of promotion at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, stated that the number of tourists coming to Turkey is on the rise in 2017.
The number of visitors poured in from main markets such as Russia, the U.K. and Germany.
Deputy General Director Aydın mentioned the interest among Greek citizens for Turkish tourism, stressing that Turkey ranks second among the destinations preferred by Greek citizens. “We are pleased with this [level of] interest and we think it can be increased. I believe that, very soon, Turkey will be the [top] destination [among] the Greeks,” he added.
Aydın said tourism in Turkey has made significant progress in the last 15 years, adding that revenue generated by the tourism industry reached 32 billion in this process.
Aydın highlighted that despite the decline experienced last year, tourism is on the rise again in 2017.
Aydın also added that the Ministry declared 2018 the “Year of Troy.” He added that, “Troy is one of the most well-known ancient cities of the world. We will carry out special projects in 2018 especially on Troy. On the other hand, we will welcome our Greek friends to Çanakkale.” Meanwhile, the Consul General of Turkey in Thessaloniki, Orhan Yalman Okan, also speaking at the panel, stated that it is important to improve the transportation infrastructure in order to increase the number of tourists, suggesting that İzmir-Thessaloniki and Ankara-Athens flights should also be scheduled.
Okan recalled that the “visa at the gate” practice is applied for Turkish citizens seeking to visit the Greek islands nearby. “If the facilitated visa regime can be applied for northern Greece as well, that is, if the Greek authorities can persuade Brussels, it will have a tremendous contribution to our tourism relations,” he added.
Around 40 percent of Greek citizens have travelled to Turkey at least once in their lives, adding that Istanbul is the favorite destination of Greek tourists with 68 percent, followed by Edirne, Ayvalık and İzmir.
Tags: Turkish tourism