Turkey to Host 40 Million International Tourists in 2018

The figures from India depict an upward trend of hosting almost 2 lakh Indian tourists by the year end, said Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Ambassador of Turkey.


A CAPTIVATING blend of antiquity and contemporary, Turkey is famous for its renowned culinary culture. The nature and distinct geography offers its visitors breath-taking landscapes, forests, turquoise coasts and pristine beaches.

“Turkey and India share a close historical relationship with strong cultural links. The relationship between Turkey and India has steadily grown year on year in scope and spans many different areas of cooperation. Turkey enjoys immense geographical, cultural and social diversity, which is why it is extremely popular with Indians. We are working towards tourism related verticals like increasing air connectivity and changes in visa policy so as to ensure better engagement between both the countries,” said Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Ambassador of Turkey, at an evening hosted at his official residence in Delhi.

With the Government of India starting the process of reviewing the existing air service agreement with Turkey, the air connectivity between the two countries will improve soon. Both India and Turkey will enhancing air connectivity with direct flights, he said.

According to the Ambassador, every single Indian who visits Turkey once, becomes the ambassador of Turkey after his return to India.

Speaking about the current tourism statistics and trends between both the countries, he said that the Turkish Tourism Board in India recently announced that the number of Indian tourists travelling to Turkey has doubled. In 2017, Turkey hosted more than 32 million international tourists while from India the number was 87,000. This year, from January to July, Turkey recorded 25% increase in the number of overall tourists. “That means we will be hosting 40 million international tourists by the end of 2018. When we look at figures from India, we see 95% increase for the same period. If this trend continues we will be hosting almost 2 lakhs Indian tourists by the year end,” he said.

Adding to this, Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Embassy said, “Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Troy and Izmir are extremely popular with Indian travellers. However, Bodrum and Marmaris have also emerged as major tourist attractions in recent past. In addition to that, Konya where Celaleddin Rumi spent his last 45 years, the sacred site where he was buried is also among the popular destinations for Indians. When we talk about food, Turkish cuisine is amongst the richest cuisines in the world with influences of Middle Eastern, Mediterranean and Balkan cuisines. Wellness is another area where Turkish hammams are well famous. With world-class hotels, restaurants, pristine beaches, mountains, adventure sports, nightlife etc, there is plenty to see and explore in Turkey for everyone.”

Turkey is the home of unique nature, culture and deep-rooted historical and religious prestige which reflects 18 world heritage sites recognized by UNESCO. It also offers diverse cuisine and entertainment options, while drawing attention to the emerging trends of adventure tourism, faith tourism, medical tourism and the country as a trending wedding destination. Talking about Destination Turkey, Ambassador Torunlar said that Turkey is matchless as a destination from an Indian traveller stand point, because it is safe, economical and above all gives the warmth and feeling of a ‘home away from home’ for Indians.

Present at the event, Arjun Kapoor, Sales Manager-North and East India, Turkish airlines pointed out the fact to promote tourism in the country, the airlines also offer a pre-city tour for all the transit passengers. “The airlines will take the transit passengers to visit all the Istanbul’s historical and cultural areas and then take the passengers back to airport to catch their flight,” Kapoor said.

The Ambassador also highlighted the biggest announcement of the year – the new airport of Istanbul – to be inaugurated in November 2018. It will be one of the largest airports in the world with a capacity of 200 million passengers per year, covering 76.5 million sq. m north of Istanbul city centre. Once fully operational, it will boast six runways and Turkish Airlines, which flies to more than 110 countries from Istanbul, will base itself at the new airport.


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