In a further attempt to boost tourist numbers in 2017, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Turks residing abroad to head back to their own country and holiday in Turkey according to the Hurriyet yesterday.
In a meeting with tourism representatives at the Presidential Palace, Erdogan said that Turkey intends to increase the number of tourists this year by 8 million. He quoted Foreign Ministry figures stating over 5.5 million Turkish citizens now live abroad and announced a new campaign to try and attract Turks back to their own country for vacations,
“I want our citizens not only to come here [Turkey], but also to invite their neighbours in their countries of residence and their friends. We are launching this ‘Come with your neighbour’ campaign for our citizens abroad”.
He continued, “Today, over 50,000 weddings are held abroad by our citizens annually. This number is very serious. I expect our citizens living abroad to hold their special ceremonies like weddings, engagements and circumcisions in our country”.
This is the latest in a number of government campaigns to try and boost Turkeys struggling tourism sector. Other campaigns are in place to attract more Arabs to ‘halal concept’ hotels, publicity to lure foreigners to the wealth of thermal spa and well-being resorts, new tours of popular Turkish sites and cities aimed at Chinese and Asian holidaymakers, increased presence and publicity at international expos and events, and further incentives for Russians looking to return to Turkey now sanctions have been lifted. Hopefully these actions will bode well for Turkey and bring with them needed tourist numbers this summer.
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