25,000 new tourism jobs this year....
(Extract from Zaman)

The tourism sector, in which important leaps occurred in recent years, enters the new season with new investments too.

The sector, which provides employment for 19,700 people with the investments brought to life last year, is expected to provide 25,000 more jobs this year. Turkey Hotel Owners Union President Ahmet Bulut points out that, being a labor-intense sector, tourism provides great supplement for employment, "The biggest problem in Turkey is unemployment.

For this reason, tourism should spread all over the country. Mediterranean Tourist Hotel Owners and Managers Union President Osman Ayik on the other hand laments on the lack of qualified labor.

This year tourism remains the most dynamic and fastest growing industry in Turkey. Presented as the country determining the tourism fashion of Mediterranean, Turkey breaks its own record every year.

Attracting only 1.5 million tourists in 1980s, Turkey plans to host 20 million tourists in 2005, and 30 million in 2010. The increase in the number of tourists has continued without slowing within the first three months of this year.

If the period between January and March is taken in comparison with the same period of last year, an increase of 30 percent is seen.

The increase in the occupancy rate of the hotels is at an average of 90 percent in summer time, thus encouraging investment in the tourism sector.

Investors are working quickly to take a share from the 30 million tourist a year industry which is planned to develop in the next 5 years. Investments in the sector are increasing exponentially.

The total number of government incentive contracts in the second month of the year is 18 and 11 of them are entirely new investments.

The amount of investment bound to government incentive is announced as 238.5 million New Turkish Liras (YTL). According to the data of the Treasury the rise in comparison to the same period last year is 128 percent.

In the second month of the last year, only 11 contracts and 140 million YTL in-investments were made. The sector has bought 132.8 million YTL for 11 government incentive contracts. The consistenly low exchange value, the rise in electricity prices tourist foundations use with the denationalization of Turkish Electricity Distribution Corporation (TEDAS), and the increase in the excise taxes caused the profit margin in tourism sector fall. However the investors who see a future in the tourism sector, continue to build five star hotels and holiday villages.

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