Türkiye aims for top 3 global travel destination status by 2028 -Xinhua

Türkiye aims for top 3 global travel destination status by 2028

Source: Xinhua

Editor: huaxia

2024-06-07 19:47:15

An aerial drone photo taken on June 6, 2024 shows tourists enjoying leisure time at a beach in Antalya, Türkiye. (Mustafa Kaya/Handout via Xinhua)

ANKARA, June 7 (Xinhua) -- Following a successful year in 2023, Türkiye is targeting a position among the world's top three travel destinations by 2028, industry officials said.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy announced in May that Türkiye aims to attract 80 million foreign tourists annually within the next four years, aspiring to become one of the top three foreign tourist destinations globally. Currently, Türkiye ranks fourth.

Türkiye's ambitious tourism plans are crucial for its economy, which relies heavily on tourism revenue. The nation welcomes millions of foreign visitors each year, providing vital income amid significant economic challenges.

"This goal is attainable, but Türkiye has work to do," said Kaan Sahinalp, Türkiye representative of German travel company TUI, in an interview with Xinhua in Ankara. To achieve this, Türkiye needs to diversify its tourism offerings, showcasing its rich culture and gastronomy beyond its coastal attractions, he said.

"State and private stakeholders must collaborate. Türkiye needs to refine its pricing policy, as competition in the Mediterranean is strong, and some regional countries offer compelling alternatives," Sahinalp stressed. "Sustainability is crucial; Türkiye must be a sustainable and reliable player."

In 2023, Türkiye's tourism sector saw a record 49.2 million foreign arrivals, up from 44.6 million in 2022, generating over 54 billion U.S. dollars. The government expects arrivals to reach 60 million this year, with 60 billion dollars in revenues. By 2028, Ankara aims for 80 million foreign tourists and 100 billion dollars.

However, recent photos taken by European tourists at Turkish resorts showing steep restaurant or bar bills made headlines in local media. While price increase is not something unusual in a country where annual inflation soars over 70 percent, Sahinalp warned against exorbitant price hikes that could harm tourism in the country.

"Türkiye must avoid arbitrary price increases. Tourists will not appreciate paying more in Türkiye for the same services they can get cheaper elsewhere," he said.

Murat Toktas, vice president of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation, highlighted the need to focus on the luxury travel industry to achieve Türkiye's goals. "In recent years, the average expenditure per night by foreign visitors in Turkish resorts has increased, which we need to capitalize on," he said.

Türkiye is attracting more affluent tourists to destinations such as Antalya and Bodrum, offering a blend of culture, nature, and entertainment. Feedback from foreign travel companies indicates strong interest from high-end clients less affected by geopolitical and economic uncertainties, Toktas noted.

Investing in luxury tourism is vital for solidifying Türkiye's position in the global market and ensuring sustainable development, he said.

Toktas said market diversification, particularly targeting the Southeast Asian market, is another priority for Turkish tourism authorities.

"If current conditions persist and no crises arise, Türkiye is on track to achieve its goal of becoming one of the world's top three destinations by 2028," Toktas added.