Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay says Turkey was the sixth country in the world in 2011 in terms of tourism and that the goal is to make it one of the top five countries with new tourism plans
Turkey currently receives more than $25 billion from 30
million tourists every year, and this amount is expected to increase to $50
billion from 50 million tourists within the next 10 years, according to Culture
Minister Ertuğrul Günay.
Speaking about Turkey’s future tourism plans, Günay said
that according to 2011 reports, Turkey was currently the sixth country in the
world in terms of the number of tourists visiting, and that an important road
map was being prepared to get it into the top five.
Günay said that while this was not a bad situation,
diversification was necessary for sustainable tourism. He said Turkey had a
rich potential for this with its history, archaeology, natural beauty, cuisine
and architecture. “Just like Italy, Spain and France, Turkey should add different
dimensions of its culture to tourism,” he said, adding that they had started
work to draw the attention of higher-income tourists.
“We have renewed technology in museums and increased the
number of visitors. Income from museums was 70 million Turkish Liras when I
came into office at the end of 2007. We got an income of 256 million liras from
museums at the end of 2011. This is a record in the history of Turkish
Republic,” Günay said.
He also said that they were focusing on local cuisine as a
tourism value, and that they would be bringing together all tastes from the
Caucasus, the Balkans and the Middle East in the same pot. He said that Turkish
cuisine was currently represented abroad with only a very limited number of
dishes, despite its richness.
In order to diversify tourism, Günay said they also
planned to form “green voyage” routes as an alternative to the “blue voyage”
routes on the Aegean coast.
“These routes will begin from the Black Sea provinces of
Samsun and Ordu, and continue through the plateaus of Artvin, without
destroying nature. We are trying to attract tourists from the Gulf countries to
the northern part of Turkey with the establishment of new accommodation centers
on this route.”
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