Coveted Michelin-starred restaurants fuel surge in culinary tourism in Türkiye-Xinhua

Coveted Michelin-starred restaurants fuel surge in culinary tourism in Türkiye

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-05-19 05:43:15

Customers select food at a restaurant in Istanbul, Türkiye, on May 14, 2024. (Photo by Safar Rajabov/Xinhua)

ISTANBUL, May 18 (Xinhua) -- A growing presence of Türkiye's restaurants in the prestigious Michelin Guide is fueling a surge in culinary tourism across the country, tourism insiders have said.

Türkiye now boasts 110 Michelin-starred dining establishments, with two of them given two stars and 11 others receiving a single star.

Hamit Kuk, the chief advisor to the president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, said the food and beverage sector holds immense potential on its own and could be a powerful engine for growth when combined with broader tourism experiences.

"It's not just about eating and drinking; gastronomy tourism encompasses a broader range of experiences. Therefore, it has a distinct significance compared to other forms of tourism," Kuk said.

Kuk emphasized that discerning travelers seeking culinary adventures often explore other nearby attractions, extending their stays and spending more. This bodes well for Türkiye's tourism targets of attracting 60 million visitors and generating 60 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by the end of 2024.

"In the context of promoting Turkish tourism brand, the growing presence of Turkish restaurants in the Michelin Guide will substantially contribute to the long-term development of Turkish tourism," Kuk said.

A chef works in a restaurant in Istanbul, Türkiye, May 14, 2024. (Photo by Safar Rajabov/Xinhua)

Nalan Yesilyurt, owner of a local tourism company, has witnessed this firsthand. Specializing in crafting "unparalleled dining experiences" for discerning travelers, her business has flourished since the first Turkish restaurant received a Michelin star in 2022.

"Michelin-starred restaurants and those listed in its guide have elevated the visibility and prestige of other Turkish restaurants on a global scale," she told Xinhua in a trendy restaurant in the historic Beyoglu district of Istanbul.

"This Thai restaurant, for example, hasn't received a star yet, but its inclusion in the list has made it a magnet for high-end travelers," she said, adding many listed restaurants raised their prices and updated their services afterward.

Yesilyurt expected an expansion of Michelin-starred dining establishments, beyond the popular tourist destinations of Istanbul, Izmir, and Bodrum, to a larger swathe of the country.  

People eat in a restaurant in Istanbul, Türkiye, May 14, 2024. (Photo by Safar Rajabov/Xinhua)■


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