30 million tourists spend $20 billion in Turkey in 2011
A total of 30 million tourists have visited Turkey and spent more than $20 billion this year, according to Turkey’s culture and tourism minister.
Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay, during the ministry’s 2012 budget talks, said that actual tourism revenues are even higher than the figures recently released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) concerning Turkey’s tourism sector in 2011.
During the budget meeting, Günay pointed to significant developments related to tourism and cultural activities in Turkey. “Turkey is not just in competition now with Greece but with the whole world, including China, America and Italy and Spain in Europe,” he said regarding the rise of Turkey’s tourism sector across the globe.
There is an important vision behind the success of Turkey’s tourism sector, Günay said. While Turkey has greatly developed its coastal tourism sector, Günay said that support was also given to alternative tourism areas like culture, sports and healthcare. Günay attributed the increase in the number of tourists and revenues to the investments made in these areas.
Günay said important investments were made across Turkey in the fields of culture and tourism.
He stressed that more work must be done to increase tourism in the quake-torn southern province of Van, the economic locomotive of the region. People have been leaving Van following two devastating earthquakes that killed more than 600 people, but businessmen in and from the region have said they have complete confidence that the city will recover soon.
Günay said that Turkey’s cultural and tourism sectors are enjoying new developments and new standards, bringing about foreign and local archeological excavations as well as the opening of museums and libraries. He also stressed that important steps were being taken to ensuring the return of historic works that were illegally removed from Turkey. Recalling the recent acquisition of Turkey’s Weary Herakles statue from America and the Boğazköy sphinx from Germany, Günay said more than 2,000 historic pieces have been returned.
Resource: Today’s Zaman