Tourism

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Turkey, as a well-known tourism destination, continues to present investment opportunities both in the established and newly developing subsectors of the industry.

Turkey is currently the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world, attracting more than 30 million tourists each year, and the number continues to rise every year. The Turkish tourism industry’s energetic and continuous growth remains unhindered by the negative effects of the recent global economic crisis, while retaining immense untapped potential. The robustly growing industry is enriched by its wide variety of tourist attractions, such as breathtaking coastlines along the Aegean and Mediterranean seas with long sandy beaches and pristine bays. Adding to Turkey’s natural riches, the country is the birthplace of many ancient civilizations that left their mark in history. The Anatolian Peninsula has a vast number of archeological sites inherited from various empires and diverse cultures, some dating back millennia. From Ephesus to the West and Mount Nemrut to the East, it is common to encounter sacred sites, temples and religious grounds belonging to various cultures and beliefs.

Further contributing to Turkey’s strong socio-economic growth, the Ministry of Tourism and non-governmental actors of the tourism industry are working towards increasing tourism receipts by utilizing the full potential of diverse opportunities in this key industry. The Turkish government offers programs and pursues policies that offer reduced utility prices and reduced tax rates, while decisively eliminating any bureaucratic barriers that may hinder sectorial growth. The combined efforts of the government and industry organizations have already enabled the rise of investment in new areas, such as construction of large convention and expo centers which boost convention tourism, particularly in the country’s largest city, Istanbul. With its unique location that bridges Europe and Asia and with over a hundred five-star hotels and state-of-the-art facilities, the historic metropolis is the ideal destination for large-scale international gatherings, fairs and exhibitions.

Elimination of almost all bureaucratic procedures for admittance of foreign patients to receive treatment in Turkish hospitals contributed to the steady growth of the health tourism sector. Furthermore the redesigning of environmental protection policies has fostered development in newly discovered eco-tourism opportunities.

  • Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination in the world with an ever-increasing number of visitors. From 2007 to 2012, the number of international tourist arrivals increased 37 percent, reaching more than 31.5 million foreign visitors.
  • The Turkish tourism industry has grown above the global average in recent years and the direct contribution of the industry to the GDP reached USD 30 billion in 2012.
  • The tourism sector targets 60 million tourist arrivals and revenues of USD 80 billion by 2023.
  • Istanbul Atatürk Airport had more than 45 million visitors in 2012, of which 29 million were passengers on international flights.
  • 25 million passengers flew to Antalya Airport in 2012; 20 million of these passengers were passengers on international flights. Antalya Airport has more than 50 different airways flying from/to more than 75 destinations. Antalya Airport is ranked the 21st busiest airport in the world by number of international passengers.
  • In 2012, the number of airline passengers in Turkey exceeded 130 million. Istanbul is the 8th most popular convention destination with 128 congresses and conventions held in 2012. (International Congress and Convention Association - ICCA)
  • In terms of geothermal tourism potential, Turkey is among the top seven countries in the world and ranks 2nd in Europe with its 1,300 thermal springs. Bed availability in thermal vacation resorts has reached 35,000.
  • Turkey has 7,200 km of coastline and offers beautiful beaches; has 355 blue flag-beaches and ranks 4th among 38 countries. There are also 19 blue flag-marinas in Turkey.
  • Turkey is an emerging destination for golf tourism, with 15 operation licensed golf tourism facilities. Most golf courses in Turkey use Bermuda grass, which is perfect for a Mediterranean climate and can be used for more than a decade.

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