Burak COŞAN/Graphic: Ümit ATALAY
Turkey, which has focused on tourism taking important steps during the pandemic and its aftermath, is gearing up for new tourism records. Noting that the promotion strategy that has changed with the TGA, which was put into use in 2019, has brought great success, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Ersoy said: “We are revising our tourism targets upwards despite the crises. This year, we expect 47 million tourists and revenue of 37 billion dollars.”
Tourism in Turkey has shown great development during and after the pandemic process. Turkey, which has achieved faster growth compared to its rival tourism countries, has also increased the tourism targets set for 2022. On this matter, the Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Ersoy, made a statement to a group of journalists. of the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA). Giving a presentation on the work of the TGA, which was created in 2019, and how effective the work was, Minister Ersoy said the following about the tourism targets: “We were targeting 42 million tourists and 35 billion dollars of revenue for this year. It was said that ‘the targets will not be achieved after the conflict environment in the Black Sea’. However, we announce that we will not revise the targets downwards despite this situation. We said, ‘Our goals will not be revised in every crisis.’ We speed up our work. In this context, we have increased the number of tourists to 47 million and the revenue target to 37 billion dollars for 2022. If there are no other problems in the world in a global sense, we will revise these targets upwards once again. If it is as we intend, we will surpass the 2019 record in terms of number of tourists.” Turkey had its best year in tourism in 2019, with 51.7 million tourists and $34.5 billion in revenue. If the 2022 targets are met, Turkey will set a new record in tourism revenue.
FAST AND FLEXIBLE CONSTRUCTION
Emphasizing that this success is directly related to TGA and its work, Minister Ersoy said: “There have been crises in the past and there will be in the future as well. That’s what we have to get used to. We took office in 2018. TGA was created in 2019. In the same year, Thomas Cook’s first crisis occurred. “There will be a huge crisis,” he said. Without making the crisis felt, the canceled seats were replaced. Afterwards, it continued within the scope of the growth plan. As this crisis ended, the pandemic broke out. Travel restrictions have taken effect. As the effects of the pandemic subsided and travel increased, an atmosphere of conflict developed in the Black Sea. Therefore, the tourism sector needs to be immune to crises. Immunity in tourism can only be achieved through diversity and market promotion. Awareness increases with promotion. This is where TGA succeeds. Because TGA follows developments instantly. With the software, which is exclusive to TGA and takes 2 years to produce, anything that is said about Turkey, positive or negative, is instantly intervened and the work begins. Fast and flexible decisions are made. A professional team works within the TGA. Employees on this team are determined on merit. Government officials cannot work here. With TGA, cooperation between industry and government is guaranteed. There is an independent structure,” he said.
6 HOUR DECISION IT’S CHANGING’
Mehmet Ersoy, who underlined that due to the structure of State competitions, promotion actions could not be carried out very quickly before the NPL, and said: “In the past, competitions were held and the countries to promote were determined. However, when there was a problem, for example, even if there was a problem in one country, promotions continued in that country. However, with TGA, the decision can be changed over the phone every 6 hours instead of the 6 month bidding process. Let’s take an example during the pandemic period. A country may impose a travel restriction. We immediately stopped promotional activities in that country and went to a different market. Thanks to the fast and flexible structure, we were able to change the country to be announced immediately. We manage crises calmly and peacefully before a crisis occurs.” Underlining that Turkey had a very good month of July, Mehmet Ersoy said: “Despite the problems experienced, we expect growth of 40-45 percent in July. If there are no problems in the global sense, Turkey will now advance breaking records. We are not making excuses. We may encounter obstacles and surprises. However, we continued on our way without hiding behind excuses.”
WE LEAVE COMPETITORS BEHIND
Explaining that the duration of stay in the country is shorter in urban tourism and 14 days in holiday regions, Minister Ersoy shared a table comparing the first four months of 2019 and 2022 by country. According to the table, although Turkey is behind 13% in the number of tourists, it has increased its income by 14%. This was respectively -26% to -11% for Spain, -30% to -22% for Italy and -27% to -15% for Greece. Thus, Turkey suffered the least loss of tourists compared to its competitors and managed to increase its revenue. Minister Ersoy also underlined that as Turkey’s tourism receipts are in euros, they appear smaller when converted to dollars due to the loss of parity.
THE NUMBER OF MEMBERS IS INCREASING IN THE TGA
Affirming that the number of boards of directors will be increased from 15 in the TGA to 16 and that the minister will be removed from the administration, Minister Ersoy said: “We are going to give the chair of minister to the food and beverage sector. As a new member, we will take over the maritime tourism vehicle and facility business. Representing the Ministry, the deputy minister is already in the administration. We will have given more space to the private sector in the TGA. We are establishing a structure that both the state sees you and the private sector dominates what is being done.” Ersoy stated that whoever transfers more resources to the TGA has that amount of vacancies.
Number of people staying as part of promotional activities in Turkey
Number of events held within the scope of promotional actions
Number of press members and influencers hosted in Turkey
Number of countries to reach via news channels
Number of views of promotional films in a digital environment
Number of films produced for the promotion of Turkey
MINISTER ERSOY’S STATEMENTS ATTRACTED ATTENTION
for reporters Making statements accompanied by a comprehensive presentation, Minister Ersoy addressed many different subjects. Other notable issues between his statements were as follows:
– We have become the country that is followed and followed in the world in tourism. During the pandemic process, we received many international awards and entered the lists of important institutions.
– We are working to establish operators with foreign flag fleets of Turkish origin in European destinations in the next year. For some, the first steps have already been taken.
– We interviewed Michelin executives. The restaurants on the list will be announced in October. This is very important for gastronomic tourism.
– At the meeting with Michelin executives, we even regretted it a little. We said, ‘You’ve been bothering us for 2 years. However, they said that we achieved a very important success in 2 years in a period like the pandemic.
– Our tourism certification program has tried to be imitated. Now let’s take it to a different level. To that we will add sustainability. We will reach the targets by 2030.
– We are working to promote tourism with 81 people. We want to increase the average income of overnight stays together with the number of tourists.
– We have the most important airport and cruise port in the world. Work continues to bring these two closer together in terms of transportation.
– In this way, the cruise port will be the home port. Thus, the tourist traveling by ship will spend more time in the country before or after departure.
– Negotiations continue for the construction of a new cruise port in Istanbul.
– In addition to promotions, international news channels will also be used in promotional actions. Thus, tourists with higher income levels will be reached at more affordable prices.
– A serious promotion has been made for Istanbul. The promotion made in the last 40 years has been compressed into 1 year.
– We gave a lot of weight to vocational secondary schools. A student graduates learning 3 languages. Qualified personnel are obtained in this way. There was a serious delay in our vocational high schools.