Turkey announces plan to attract wealthy tourists

Turkey wants wealthy travellers
By Linsey McNeill
07/03/2024
Home » Turkey announces plan to attract wealthy tourists

Turkey’s Tourism Minister says he plans to make Turkey a year-round ‘go-to destination’ for affluent travellers.

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy wants to attract tourists to all of the country’s 81 provinces, in particular the Aegean coast, which currently only accounts for 10% of all tourism revenue while the Mediterranean and Marmara regions provide 80%.

In a statement, the country’s Tourism Ministry said: “With its well-run hotels, quality service, and hospitality, Türkiye [Turkey] is not only a very popular destination for family holidays but also, thanks to recent investments and effective new strategies, an essential cultural destination for affluent travellers.

“The Ministry, managed by experienced tourism professional Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, has developed international events, sports tournaments and festivals, which promote short-term stays. These efforts have significantly promoted wealthy individuals’ visits to the country.”

It said it had created ‘various incentives’ for tourists to venture beyond their hotels for excursions, and it now plans to increases the number of attractions, including conducting archaeological excavations year-round. 

The number of excavation sites is increasing to 172 under Turkey’s Legacy for the Future project, and the Ministry has created ‘night museums’, allowing tourists to visit monuments and ancient cities outside regular opening hours. “This initiative has led to record-breaking visitor numbers to open-air museums like Aphrodisias,” it said.

The inclusion of restaurants in İstanbul, İzmir and Bodrum in the Michelin Guide, plus the increasing number of sites on the UNESCO World Heritage list, such as Ankara and the ancient city of Gordion, is helping attract more affluent tourists to the country.

Mr Ersoy added: “One of our key objectives is to increase the number of tourists and revenue while extending tourism to other regions with various products. 

“In this regard, one of the most important topics for us is the Aegean coast: despite its potential, cultural assets, coastlines and natural resources, is not where it should be regarding tourism. We will therefore continue our endeavours to place the Aegean coast higher on the travel agenda of international tourists.”

The Minister is also pushing for sustainability certifications of tourism facilities. More than 16,000 out of approximately 21,000 hotels in Turkey have successfully obtained sustainability certifications, he said.

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