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Turkey has become a cultural hotspot for affluent European travellers

07.03.2024 | 12:22 |
 Turkey has become a cultural hotspot for affluent European travellers

With its well-run hotels, quality service, and hospitality, 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.

In this important development, the private sector has always been successful and innovative in its approach, and the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which typically acts with definite guiding determinations, have played significant parts. The Ministry, managed by experienced tourism professional Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, has developed products requiring short-term stays, such as international events, sports tournaments and festivals. These efforts have significantly promoted wealthy individuals’ visits to the country.

Moreover, the Ministry has created various incentives for tourists to leave the comfortable hotel facilities in Turkey for excursions. Intending to increase the number of tourist attractions, it has extended archaeological excavations to be conducted year-round and increased the number of excavation sites to 172 under the inspiring “Legacy for the Future” project, for example, by including the Bergama region. Excavations and restorations here are also supposed to benefit the district and the surrounding cities, enabling all city stakeholders to utilise tourism revenues. In addition, the Ministry has created innovative concepts such as “night museums”, which allow tourists to visit monumental structures and ancient cities outside of regular visiting hours. This initiative has led to record-breaking visitor numbers to open-air museums like Aphrodisias.

Aiming to turn Turkey into a top destination for affluent tourists, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister of Culture and Tourism, wants to spread the tourism season to 12 months and attract tourists to all 81 provinces. He summarises his objectives: “The Marmara and Mediterranean regions of Turkey predominantly generate 80% of the country's tourism revenues. The Aegean region accounts for about 10%, while the remaining 10% is shared among the Black Sea region and other parts of Anatolia. 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.

Knowing that affluent and environmentally conscious tourists prioritise sustainability, Minister Ersoy is making great efforts to push for sustainability certifications of tourism facilities. Significant progress has been made in this regard, as more than 16,000 out of approximately 21,000 hotels in Turkey have successfully obtained sustainability certifications.

Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) of Turkey, which promotes Turkey in more than 200 countries to attract distinguished tourists, points out that Turkey is not only a suitable destination for “sea, sand and sun” holidays but now also offers more than 60 other tourism products, such as nature and adventure, cruise tourism and blue cruise, cycling and other sports, archaeological and cultural tours, religious routes, as well as gastronomic experiences. Including İstanbul, İzmir and Bodrum in the prestigious Michelin Guide, one of the world’s most respected gastronomy selections, is clear and compelling evidence of the success of actions in this context. Another proof of Turkey's continuous achievements in this respect is the increasing number of sites on the UNESCO World Heritage List, such as Ankara and the ancient city of Gordion.

Aiming to become the world’s third-most important tourism country in the near future, with 56.7 million visitors and $54.3 billion tourism revenue in 2023, Turkey also promises to be one of the most preferred destinations for affluent tourists.


Photo: provided by the Embassy of Turkey in Turkmenistan

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