Levent Demirel, Deputy General Director Ministry of Culture and Tourism - Directorate General for promotion “Our main goal is to stress the diversity of tourism products of Turkey” | TravelDailyNews International
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Levent Demirel, Deputy General Director Ministry of Culture and Tourism - Directorate General for promotion “Our main goal is to stress the diversity of tourism products of Turkey”

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Travel Daily News: Mr Demirel, in our meeting last year, you had predicted that recession might benefit Turkey, as an inexpensive and non-euro destination to achieve an increase in the number of foreign arrivals. Has Turkey achieved this target?

Levent Demirel: Yes, Turkey has clearly achieved this target. The Effects of Economic Crisis on Tourism Sector were the increase in the short-haul and domestic trips, slowdown in the VFR and repeating trips, more slowdown in the business trips compared to leisure trips and decline in the length of stay and expenditure. In the face of these challenges, Turkey has managed to sustain and even develop its actual market share and strengthened its brand position. We have benefited well from the cost/quality advantage, destination marketing and promotion and the advantages of all-inclusive hotels. We have built strong cooperation amongst the all actors of the tourism industry domestically, as well. Public and private sector partnership was one of the important pillars of this process. Favorable currency rates were, of course, another advantage for us. According to the WTO figures, Turkey ranks 8th in terms of number of tourists with 25 million arrivers and ranks 9th in the world in terms of the revenues from tourism sector. The number of visitors to our country has increased by 1.1 percent as of July over the same period last year despite the economic crisis. Turkey also ranks 9th in world ranking in terms of tourism receipts with $ 22 billion. Turkey has grown much above the world rate. I think these figures clearly show that recession has benefited Turkey.

TDN: What are the long term plans for increasing your arrivals in the coming years?

LD: In the long term, our main goal is strengthening the brand position of Turkey by developing its positive image. Stressing the diversity of tourism products of Turkey such as winter, thermal, MICE, culture, yachting, youth, city tourism, positioning main destinations, such as Istanbul, Mugla, Antalya, Cappadocia, as short break (Noel, Easter, Christmas, and school holidays) destinations and improving the promotion of the international sports and cultural organizations in Turkey are also of great importance for us. We are carrying out customer profile researches in our main markets to define new tourist trends that have higher brand awareness and wonders different cultures and activities. The new tourist also sees internet as the prior source of getting information and making reservations before taking decision, thus we are following technological developments closely.

TDN: Which are your target markets?

LD: Germany and Middle Europe, Russia and Ukraine, The United Kingdom, the Balkans, Northern and Southern Europe, America, Middle East, North Africa and Far East are our main target markets.

TDN: What is your strategy for attracting tourist from Greece and nearby countries?

LD: Our strategies for attracting more tourists from Greece and Balkan countries are as following:

  • to support the projects with nearby countries that using geographic location possibilities and advantages
  • to promotion and stress the historical and cultural values of Turkey that reflecting common past with nearby countries
  • to focus on PR activities besides our advertising campaigns
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