Senior representatives from the Turkish Hoteliers' Federation (TÜROFED) and the Association of Mediterranean Tourism and Hoteliers of Turkey (AKTOB) discussed what to do to recover from the losses in the sector with veteran journalists and senior advertising executives from Hürriyet, including Hürriyet Editor-in-Chief Sedat Ergin, Hürriyet Daily News Editor-in-Chief Murat Yetkin and Hürriyet Advertising Director and executive board member Zeynep Tandoğan.
“We need to be present anywhere which has the potential to be a source of tourists for Turkey to overcome the existing losses” said TÜROFED President Osman Ayık.
“We need to tell what our country is like and why tourists will not face any security threats in Turkey” he said.
Noting that 80 percent of foreigners visit Turkey for travel reasons, Ayık added: “They visit Turkey to have fun… Turkey has something very valuable and we need to promote this in a clear way. We need to underline that there is no problem through active promotional campaigns.”
According to Ayık, Turkey needs to seek and find new markets.
“There are various places that have great potential to send many more tourists to Turkey, such as China, India and Africa. We need to reflect on and plan how we can attract more tourists from where. We can do this only through launching more promotional activities. Here, we need to benefit from the worldwide good reputation of the daily Hürriyet. We can only be successful if we can cooperate with a strong brand like Hürriyet,” he said.
Ayık said Germany was the largest source of foreign tourists for Turkey last year, sending more than 6 million tourists.
“Even this is not enough as we know there is higher potential there. We can lure 12 million tourists from Germany and we can do this by reaching more young people there,” he said.
AKTOB President Yusuf Hacısüleyman said the tourism sector was one of the industries that have the highest added value with around $35 billion in annual revenue.
“We need to start promotional campaigns not only abroad, but also within Turkey so as to emphasize our values … We must change our perception especially among European tourists,” he said.
The sector has recently been battered amid a sharp decrease in the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey and escalating security concerns.