Turkey: 2022 target in tourism is $35 billion income

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy told the success story in tourism despite the pandemic in 2021: We closed last year with 29.5 million tourists and income of over $24 billion. Our target for 2022 is a minimum income of $35 billion.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy participated in the joint broadcast of aHaber and aPara. Minister Ersoy, who was the guest of Sabah Newspaper writer Dilek Gungor and aPara Editor-in-Chief Ozlem Doganer, made very special statements about the sector. Explaining that a record was broken in tourism with 51.7 million tourists and an income of $34.5 billion in 2019, in 2020, 16 million tourists and $12 billion were reduced due to the pandemic, Minister Ersoy said, “We were expecting a ‘V’ output in 2021, both with the safe tourism certificate we prepared and the strong work of the Tourism Development Agency (TGA). The figures have not been announced yet, but we exceeded our targets and closed this year with 29.5 million tourists and more than $24 billion in revenue.” Pointing out that the per capita income has also increased in 2021, Minister Ersoy said, “Our per capita income was $647 in 2018, and it increased to $830 in 2021. This was one of our biggest goals.”


Underlining that the V output will continue in 2022, Minister Ersoy said, “This year, we aim to reach the revenue we achieved in 2019. We have set a minimum revenue target of $35 billion.” Explaining that their 5-year goals in tourism are clear, Minister Ersoy said, “We plan to reach $50 billion in 2023. Explaining that reservations for this year are very strong, Ersoy said, “Early booking looks very good. When we overcome the Omicron mutation, it accelerates like spring. Compared to last year, there is an increase in early bookings of 100% in some markets, 60% in some and 30% in some markets.”


Pointing out the importance of TGA, Minister Ersoy said, “TGA played a very active role in the epidemic process. We quickly activated the certification process in the epidemic. In addition to this work, we made a difference to the world with our promotional campaigns. While world tourism shrank by 80% during the epidemic, we managed to keep it limited to 68%.” Pointing out that the safe tourism certificate is permanent, Minister Ersoy said that they have also started studies for sustainable tourism. Ersoy said: “We will change the name of this certificate to a reliable and green tourism certificate by 2023. We have taken the first step in this regard. We signed an agreement with CSTC, which provides an international sustainability certificate. CSTC is a place that implements sustainability at the highest level. After the protocol we signed with them, we saw that we were the country that took the first step in this regard, just like in the certificate. Although the issue of sustainability is on the agenda all over the world, no real steps are taken. We took a step with this protocol and according to the information given to us, we are the first country to start working for sustainability by the state. In this context, if we take an exemplary step, we will take the lead in the world.”


Explaining that they have sustainability investments in 451 facilities, Minister Ersoy said, “These facilities make up 20% of our total bed capacity. With a very minor step, these facilities receive a sustainability certificate. If extra financing is required for other facilities, we will discuss with the ministry of treasury and prepare a special package.”


Minister Ersoy reminded that they are carrying out projects with the Ministry of National Education for the personnel problem of the sector, “We made a regulation in tourism vocational high schools. We changed the curriculum in 76 high schools. We matched hotel groups with vocational high schools and made the language compulsory in their curriculum. We started with 5 schools, went up to 54 schools. We won’t stop when 76 come to school. Demand for these schools increased. Students do their internship training in paired hotels. He is getting an education, learning business and language. They also get a higher salary than the trainee salary. He studies at the same hotel for 4 years and starts working immediately after school is over. If we reach 500 schools on average, we will bring 25 thousand students to the sector per year. This year, we are bringing 1000 students to the sector with the first graduates.”


Minister Ersoy, who also gave information about the regulation made regarding the Law No. 2634, said: “This is a very old law. Three ministries were authorized in 1982. The Ministry of Agriculture, the Ministry of Environment and Urbanization and the Ministry of Tourism. We have had the authority for this law for 40 years. With the new law, the allocation of accommodation is only given to the tourism ministry, and the authority of the other two ministries is abolished. While doing this, the ministry of tourism says that it cannot invest as it wishes. The new law says the ministry of tourism can make an allocation if it requests them and gives an appropriate opinion. The facility, which exists in Uludag with the law numbered 2634, is transferred from the Ministry of Forestry to the Ministry of Tourism. Stating that the amendment made in this law was distorted, Minister Ersoy said, “They made claims that the burned forest lands would be opened to tourism. Such a thing never happens. Burning forest lands are protected according to Article 169 of the constitution. Already burned forest land was never opened for development. There is no example of this. The land in Bodrum Guvercinlik was already allocated before it burned and the hotel there was not built on the burning site, they are deliberately distorting the event.”


Underlining that TURKEY has changed its strategy, Ersoy said, “Turkey is the country with the highest tourism potential in the world. We could not promote the potential because there is no TGA. Our first target is product diversity. We developed 50 products. We aim to reveal the tourism potential of 81 provinces. We have developed a product called Go Turkey. Go Turkey is the most visited site in the world. We’ve had 2 million clicks so far. THY flies to 330 countries. Now, wherever we fly directly is our target market.”

Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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