Turkey breaks record in tourist arrivals
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Turkey breaks record in tourist arrivals
Tuesday, July 12, 2005

As a country referred to as a cradle of civilizations, Turkey is successively breaking records in tourism both in terms of number of arrivals and revenue because of the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s attempts to attract tourists throughout the year, beyond just the high season


ANKARA - Turkish Daily News
As a European Union aspirant country luring more foreign vacationers every year, Turkey is breaking records in tourism with a 27.2 percent increase in the number of arrivals for the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.
The percentage increase in tourism revenue for the first six months is not available yet but the figures show a 24.5 percent increase for the first three months of 2005 compared to the same period last year.
For the first half of 2005, Turkey lured over 8.5 million tourists, approximately two million more than last year's first half. The Culture and Tourism Ministry said foreign tourists spent $756 million for the first three months, $148 million more than in the first quarter of 2004.
The percentage increase in tourist arrivals and tourism revenue from 2003 to 2004 was 24 percent and 20 percent, respectively.
Based on data from the first six months, Turkey forecasts over 20 million tourists by the end of this year, a figure that would set a new record in tourism.
Looking at the history of tourism over the last two decades and assuming the above projection holds, the number of foreign tourist arrivals will have increased tenfold since 1984. The number of tourists visiting Turkey in the mid 1980s hovered around two million.
According to information provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, this upward trend is due to various factors such as diversification of tourist areas, widespread promotional campaigns abroad, improved training of tourist industry personnel to better serve foreign tourists and major investments in construction of modern facilities.
As a country often referred to as the cradle of civilizations, Turkey is falling short of its potential to attract tourists throughout the year, beyond just the high season. To address this, the ministry is promoting diverse tourist activities ranging from faith-based excursions, winter sports and creation of thermal resorts in addition to existing activities like golf, yachting, rafting, spelunking, paragliding and mountaineering.
Additionally, the ministry changed its advertising focus in foreign countries. They have been placing more emphasis on luring high-income and other big-spending segments of society.
Among the promotional strategies, the ministry has invited celebrities and prominent individuals such as movie stars, artists and famous politicians to spend their vacations in Turkey's resorts.
Long-term prospects indicate that Turkish tourism will continue to grow at a rate higher than the world and European average towards the year 2020. Culture and Tourism Minister Atilla Koç recently said, “Our target is to draw 30 million tourists and earn YTL 30 billion from tourism by 2010. I guess we'll make a strong jump this year and reach our goal two years earlier.”
Considering that healthy tourism requires political stability and a feeling of security within the country, Turkey's EU course is likely to further boost the sector in the long term.


Turkey breaks record in tourist arrivals
If you read the report and are wondering what on earth is 'spelunking', its basically the same as caving (i.e going down into caves)

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