Culture and Tourism Minister Ersoy: 29 million tourists, $24 billion income

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated that they revised their 2021 tourism target to 29 million visitors and $24 billion. Minister Ersoy: “In such a difficult year, we managed to make a V debut, just as we said a year ago, by leaving behind our competitors in the Mediterranean area, by joining hands with all sectors of the state and the industry.”

Ersoy, at the 11th International Resort Tourism Congress held in a hotel in Kundu Tourism Region, said that the epidemic that has affected the world for the last two years has affected the functioning of all sectors on a global scale.

Mentioning that it brings with it a chance and a permanent differentiation in every field, from production to transportation, from education to technology, from industry to commerce, both in the public and private sectors, Ersoy stated that they will continue on the road by renewing themselves by learning lessons from this process as the tourism sector.

Explaining that the sectors most affected by the epidemic are travel, tourism and culture and art, which are indirect stakeholders of tourism, Ersoy said:

Thanks to you, who act together with Turkey but do not expect everything from Turkey, adapt quickly to decisions that need to be taken quickly, say ‘I’m here too’ instead of complaining, and take risks, and industry players, we had previously revised our target of 25 million visitors at the beginning of the season in 2021, $20 billion in revenue, as 28 million visitors and $22 billion in revenue. Considering the months of November and December, which were exceeding our expectations, I would like to announce that we have revised our target upwards as 29 million visitors and $24 billion revenue. In such a difficult year, we managed to make a V debut, just as we said a year ago, by leaving behind our competitors in the Mediterranean area, by joining hands with all sectors of the state and the industry. Moreover, while doing this, we increased our per capita tourism income from $647 in 2018 to $830. In this period, we managed to increase not only the number of visitors and our total income, but also the per capita income, which is important.”


Ersoy pointed out that thanks to the breakthroughs made in the last two years, Turkey hosts more tourists than Spain, which lags behind by 40%.

Mentioning that the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency plays an important role, Ersoy said that there are 15 members in the management of the agency, and that the private sector is the dominant one.

Emphasizing that the agency has a very flexible and fast structure, so that it can take quick decisions, Ersoy noted that decisions cannot be made so quickly in the public sector.

Ersoy, stating that thanks to the agency, Turkey has gained the ability to act faster than its other competitors, said, “Turkey has become the country that gives the most and most effective advertisements in the world in the last 2 years. We get results by showing the right ad to the right person at the right time. With technologies, we have the chance to continue on our way by distinguishing ourselves from our competitors.”

Stating that successful results were achieved in every work done, Ersoy said that all gains can be taken back with publicity.

Ersoy noted that the agency also works like insurance, and price cuts are prevented.

Mentioning that there were no serious fluctuations in prices during the epidemic process, Ersoy stated that they could see the results of this with the increase in tourism revenues.


Pointing out that tourism should be spread over 12 months in order to be sustainable, Ersoy said:

“We are spreading tourism to 12 months with the promotions we make by bringing product diversity. Our aim is not only to spread it to 12 months, but to spread tourism to the whole country. If tourism becomes a viable sector throughout the country, then tourism will be embraced by everyone. You don’t get the many unfair criticisms we get right now. Because if it becomes everyone’s source of income, all of the people will take care of it and we will come to better points. We attach importance to product diversity. 2022 will be the year of breakthrough in gastronomy tourism. Gastronomy is very important in terms of tourism. There are issues related to gastronomic tourism that we have been following for several years, we are concluding them, and we will begin to explain them from the beginning of the year. By catching serious awareness, Turkey will take its place among the tourism countries that have become popular with international gastronomy. Our food and beverage sector is in a very good condition, but we cannot explain it very well.”


Reminding that the Safe Tourism Certificate program came into effect with the epidemic, Ersoy stated that Turkey became a pioneer in Europe thanks to this program.

Stating that it was taken as an example and copied by other countries, but none of them was as successful as Turkey, Ersoy made the following assessment:

“The whole world is our competitor in tourism, and the whole world is our potential guest. As long as we play this game according to international rules, we can increase our share of the pie. We will move to a second stage in the Safe Tourism Certificate. It is permanent in our lives now. Thinking that the pandemic will gradually leave the conditions in the coming years, some new rules will come into our lives while giving up some rules with the effect of vaccination. If we do not set certain rules and take steps on sustainable tourism and climate change, we will start to fall behind in this race from next year. It is not a matter of our discretion. As industries, we need to take the necessary steps. As of the next month, we will start discussing in detail with our NGO representatives, as with the Safe Tourism Certificate, we plan to extend it to a minimum of 3 years in a certain transition period. We will give our goals, we will tell you what we need to do. Again, we need to take these steps to be a pioneer in the world.”

Ersoy stated that the rules regarding the certificate will be determined and shared before the 2022 season.

Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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