The demand for Turkish tourism is growing at a faster rate than the demand for world tourism. The number of tourists visiting Turkey between 1980 and 2005 increased by 17.5 times and the annual tourism revenues rose by 5.5 times,
Comprehensive projects are underway to shift tourism activity from the coastal regions to the Anatolian hinterland. These projects which will trigger the second tourism boom in Turkey will be concluded in two stages, the first between 2004 and 2006 and the second in 2007 and 2010. The target is 30 million tourists and 30 billion USD in tourism revenues in 2010.
The continuous increases in both the number of tourists and tourism revenues illustrate a stable growth in this sector. A total of 21,122,798 tourists visited Turkey in 2005 and tourism revenues from foreign visitors amounted to 18.1 billion USD. The share of tourism revenues is 25% in exports and 5.7% in gross national product.
Regarding Turkey’s integration with the world economy, the tourism sector has been the most successful one in recent years. Taking this achievement into consideration, Turkey has been revising its tourism policies with a new perspective in order to increase its share in the international tourism market by better utilization of the country’s tourism potential. There-fore, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, taking into account all the factors affecting tourism, has formulated new marketing strategies.
Furthermore, Turkey has launched an enterprising promotional campaign, the
most crucial leg of the new strategies, through 36 foreign offices in 33 different countries of the world. This campaign underlines the theme of “embracing divergences” in its basic approach to holidaymakers.
Indeed, too many differences co-exist in Turkey, perhaps as a result of Turkey’s location as a bridge between continents, religions and cultures. The richness of these co-existing divergences has been reflected in every corner of the country in the form of natural, cultural, artistic, aesthetic and folkloric diversity. This mysterious, bewildering and colorful complexity and contrasts constitute an all-embracing cultural diversity rather than a culture of antagonism.
Efforts are underway to develop new projects with the objective of diversifying tourism such as yachting, golf, spas and health cures, winter and mountain sports, highland excursions, trekking, rafting, sports-fishing, hunting and bird watching.