Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated that promotions were made in 140 countries in the field of tourism and said, “This year, we aim to catch the 2019 figures in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic, Baltic and Eastern European countries. Again, we aim to close 2019 with numbers above the UK, Israel, the Middle East and the Gulf countries.” said.
In his speech at the DER Touristics Group Meeting in Antalya, Ersoy said that they set a target of 2022 million tourists and 42 billion dollars in revenue for 35, but that the Russia-Ukraine war has begun. Expressing that their primary wish is to achieve a ceasefire as soon as possible and to prevent loss of life, Ersoy said that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu showed a superior performance in this regard, and that they are working diligently to establish peace. Explaining that they carried out important works as the Ministry despite the crises, Ersoy said:
“As of last October, we have already implemented our strategies and action plans regarding alternative markets and market diversity. For this reason, while the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency was organized in 2 countries in the last 22 years, it started very intensive promotion in television advertisements and digital programs in 140 countries as of this year, while making television advertisements. We are currently promoting very heavily in 140 countries. Again, we have launched promotional campaigns with 26 large and medium-sized tour operators in 137 countries for the time being. This is by far the biggest campaign in the history of tourism in Turkey. We are starting to get the results. This year, we aim to reach 2019 figures in Germany, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordic, Baltic and Eastern European countries. Again, we aim to close 2019 with numbers above the UK, Israel, the Middle East and the Gulf countries.”
Market diversity call from Minister Ersoy
Minister Ersoy emphasized that they did not give up on their 2022 goals by taking refuge in excuses. Ersoy, who said that they will join hands with the state as an industry, and that they will push the targets and achieve them in this period, as they did in the Kovid-19 process, "Now Turkey is the old Turkey, the ministry is the old ministry, nor our industry is the old sector." said.
Pointing out that they do not foresee any problems in Istanbul and all of Anatolia except Antalya, Ersoy stated that the figures for the first three months in Antalya are positive. Stating that there may be a stretch in April in Antalya, with the effect of war and the month of Ramadan, but the numbers will rise rapidly as of May, Ersoy noted that normalization in the region can be achieved completely in mid-June.
Expressing that the priority target for Antalya is to exceed the 2021 figures, Ersoy pointed out that he believes this target will be achieved in cooperation with the sector, as in the epidemic. Calling on the industry to take the necessary steps for market diversity, Ersoy continued his words as follows:
“As a state, our Ministry, Turkey Tourism Promotion and Development Agency, has been working very hard for the last 2 years on market diversity, but it is not enough to be done by us alone. This needs to be embraced on a regional basis, even on a hotel basis, so that we can reach the result more quickly. That's why you have a big job, let's not run 100 meters all the time, let's know that we have to run a marathon. Of course, running a marathon is a bit tiring and costly, but the results are very, very good in the medium and long term. If you live in a geopolitical environment like Turkey, you had crises in the past, you have crises today, and you will unfortunately face crises in the future. There is only one solution to this, we need to learn to be immune to crisis. There is one vaccine for being immune to crisis, market diversity. So let it act as a vaccine for us in this latest crisis.”
Emphasizing that Turkey has become an important destination in the world, Ersoy said, “Now, Turkey is rapidly advancing towards becoming the first destination by raising its standards and increasing its investments with the work it has done. This is noticed in all kinds of products of the sector, and necessary steps are taken by the major players of the sector. We also have to keep our future goals and vision broad. We need to achieve these goals with everyone by collaborating with rapid steps.” he said.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy stated that the Safe Tourism Certificate program will be transformed into a Green Tourism Certificate program by the end of the year, and said, “In order to establish this strategy, we signed a 3-year protocol with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (CSTC), the highest specialized authority in the world, as the Ministry. ” said.
Ersoy reminded that 2019 was a record year for tourism, 52 million tourists and 34,5 billion dollars revenue target were realized.
Stating that as Turkey, these figures were achieved by making a strategy change in 2018, Ersoy said, “In 2019, we established the Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency. In fact, it is an organization that has been established in many countries for a hundred years, but has come to life as of 2019 in our country. When we look at the management structure, it consists of managers elected by the votes of tourism professionals. All of the employees are experts in professional advertising and communication, they are selected, willing and their main job is this.” he said.
Pointing out that they set a new record target in 2020, but faced with the Kovid-19 process, Ersoy stated that the number of 52 million tourists decreased to 16 million.
Explaining that in this process, the government and the sector joined hands and acted very quickly and prepared the Safe Tourism Certificate system, which is an example to the world, Ersoy stated that they also used the Tourism Promotion and Development Agency effectively. Stating that they focused on promotional activities, Ersoy noted that during the pandemic period, very intense promotion was made on 22 international televisions and in 81 countries on the digital platform, and they brought thousands of editors and social media fans to Turkey from many parts of the world.
Emphasizing that the target of 30 million tourists and $24,5 billion in revenue was achieved last year with the work done, Ersoy said, “While rival tourism countries shrank, we shrank less, and while we were growing, we grew faster and better than all of them.” said.
“Green Tourism certificate will be ready by the end of the year”
Noting that they made some changes in the law regarding tourism last year in order to reach qualified tourists more quickly, Ersoy noted that previously, hotels were opened with municipality or ministry certificates, but with the law, they gathered all hotels under the umbrella of a ministry certificate, which is an important step.
Stating that they made some changes in the Safe Tourism Certificate system, Ersoy continued as follows:
“We will have transformed the Safe Tourism Certificate into a Green Tourism Certificate by the end of the year. In order to establish this strategy, we signed a 3-year protocol with the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (CSTC), the highest specialized authority in the world, as the Ministry. We started to share certificate details with industry representatives. We will have the certification ready and put into practice by the end of the year.”
Reminding that Turkey signed the Paris Convention last year, Ersoy explained that there are commitments to be fulfilled by the sectors as a country and a region as per this contract. Stating that the Green Tourism Certificate system is also related to this, Minister Ersoy said:
“If we want to be the preferred country and the preferred destination in the tourism of the future, we need to complete these certified criteria regarding sustainability. There's no escaping this. If we do not fulfill the criteria, if we do not bear these costs, the countries that export passengers to us will already collect them from us in the form of taxes. We need to fix this system. This is a phased program. We have things to do until the end of 2023, until the end of 2025 and 2030. I trust and believe in you, we will reach our goals before these dates. According to the CSTC's statement, we are the first country in the world to coordinate this work on a state basis. Hopefully, we will be the first country to reach these criteria.”