Advertising seen as way to boost tourism in Turkey


Istanbul’s tourism professionals gather to promote Turkish regions, i.e. brands

ISTANBUL – The executives of the Beyoglu Investors Group (BIG) met Monday in Istanbul to plan Turkey’s advertising strategy ahead of the world’s leading tourism expo in Berlin.

“It has been tough times for the tourism sector in last few months but […] we need to keep advertising,” Ahmet Misbah Demircan, the mayor of Istanbul’s Beyoglu district said in the press conference after the meeting.

Turkey has witnesses a decline in the number of foreign visitors from Russia and Europe in 2015. According to data recently released by the Turkish Tourism Ministry, foreign tourist arrivals dropped around 1.61 percent compared to the same period of 2014.

Last November, Turkey shot down a Russian warplane that had violated its airspace. After the subsequent diplomatic row, tourist arrivals dropped significantly.

According to the ministry’s figures, the number of Russian tourists coming to Turkey has fallen by 47 percent in December 2015, compared to the same period of the last year.

In January, a terror attack, which killed 11 German tourists in Istanbul’s Sultanahmet district, has also caused concerns for the industry.

Demircan said that an investment group of various tourism firms was created in order to improve Beyoglu’s, a popular Istanbul district, and the city’s tourism potential.

“Turkey is a country that has districts that have brand values. Therefore, everyone should do one’s part to improve their regional standards,” the mayor said.

Despite a difficult year, the country’s tourism figures show that 2015 was at nearly the same level as in 2014, said Cetin Gurcun, Secretary General of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.

More than 50 tourism professionals are members of the BIG. The International Tourism Expo, ITB Berlin, will begin on Wednesday. Twenty Turkish investors will participate in the trade show.