GCC tourists to Turkey up 16.5pc
Dubai, March 17, 2010
The number of GCC tourists selecting Turkey as favourable tourist destination has increased in 2009 by 16.45 per cent, said a top official of the Turkish tourism department in Dubai.
Figures from recent statistics have shown that over 27 million tourists from around the world visited Turkey during 2009, which makes an increase by 2.8 per cent from year 2008, said Emin Kaya, the cultural and information attaché in Dubai and the Turkish Tourism Office Manager in UAE.
Out of the entire world, GCC tourists have made the biggest increase as the number of Kuwaiti tourists was up by 21.36 per cent, followed by Saudi Arabia (20.31 per cent) the UAE (12.07 per cent), Bahrain (12.49 per cent), and Qatar (0.82 per cent).
“We realize the cultural and religious values of the GCC people which sustain the strong relationships between Turkey and GCC Countries,” Kaya said.
“Our marketing and promotional strategies during 2010 will include various activities and events in order to attract more tourists to choose Turkey for their next holiday plans,” he added.
“Historical and cultural exhibitions, free tourist trips to journalists, participation at ATM Dubai, and musical and traditional concerts and dances throughout the GCC countries, are all part of a whole strategy to bring people’s attention to Turkey and to show its ability to be a very interesting tourism destination.”
Increased interest in Health Tourism
Kaya stated that the advertising and promotional campaign in the Arab world for 2010 will focus on introducing and marketing Turkey as a health and medical tourism destination.
The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism is showing big interest in this direction as a part of its long-term plan to sustain the need of attracting all type of tourists to visit Turkey.
Kaya said that the Turkish Government has recently offered a number of investment opportunities and facilities to invest in the medical and health tourism sector for both the Turkish and foreign investors where they can build health and spas near the natural and thermal springs.
According to official statistics, over 200 health and spa centers will be built as per this plan, he said.
The Government is planning to attract Arab tourists in general and GCC tourists in special and to introduce Turkey as a distinguished health and medical destination, bearing in mind the cultural and geographical closeness to these countries that their tourists prefer to come to a country that appreciates the Islamic culture at the same time has everything for them, Kaya added.
Kaya also said that tourists visiting Turkey from GCC countries find Istanbul, Yalova, Bursa, Bodrum, and Antalya most favourable cities to visit. – TradeArabia News Service