Surveys reveal different perceptions of Turkey

20th, 2011
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Surveys conducted by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism among citizens of countries in which Turkey plans to promote itself as a tourist destination next year have revealed how people’s perception and image of Turkey differs from one country to the next.
According to data from the ministry’s website, Turkey is the most popular and most preferred holiday resort location among citizens of Russia. Some 47 percent of Russians surveyed said they think Turkey is the best country to go on vacation. They said they see Turkey as a civilized holiday destination, with its reasonable prices, quality services and facilities in addition to its historical and cultural venues. Turkey has been the most popular holiday destination for Russians for several years. To Russian survey respondents, Turkey calls to mind words like “sunny,” “entertaining,” “picturesque,” “friendly,” “relaxing” and “Mediterranean.”
In the United Kingdom, Turkey is associated with its warm climate and cultural wealth. Sixty-eight percent of UK respondents to the survey said they think of Turkey as a sunny country, while 55 percent said they define it as a historical country and 48 percent said they think first of its cultural richness.
The survey revealed that eight out of 10 Britons who go on vacation in Turkey visit historical sites and museums during their stay. When they were asked to assess their latest visit to Turkey, seven out of 10 Britons said they were very pleased with their visit.
Thanks to Turkey’s years-long effort to promote itself in the US, Turkey is known in the US as a travel destination distinguished by historical, cultural, archeological and natural beauties. A survey conducted among eight million Americans who routinely travel across the Atlantic has revealed that half of these people want to pay a visit to Turkey.
Factors such as Turkey’s history, culture and diversity of belief and the physical beauty of the landscape, as well as the possibilities for ocean cruises and the current high value of US dollar in Turkey influence the interest level of American tourists. Americans also want to meet and engage in dialogue with local people during their stay, which they believe enhances their experience in countries they visit.
Citizens of France who have not traveled to Turkey before tend to think it is an Arab country, but their overall image of Turkey is positive. This misperception of Turkey as an Arab country casts a shadow over its cultural and natural beauties for some French survey respondents, thanks to France’s own historical negative interactions with some Arab and North African cultures. On the other hand, Turkey’s quality hospitality, cultural diversity and historical richness continue to attract French visitors to Turkey. In the United Arab Emirates, Turkey ranks first on the list of most popular holiday destinations. Survey participants in the Emirates say they think of Turkey as an exciting, green, historical, sunny, Muslim, friendly, safe and European family travel destination.
Attracting tourists from more countries
In Austria, Turkey is the most popular holiday destination after Italy (except for Croatia, which can be reached overland). Eighty-six percent of Austrians surveyed describe Turkey as “lovely” or “very lovely.” In Switzerland, Turkey is perceived as an exciting, interesting, mystical and hospitable country, while Japanese respondents see Turkey as a friendly country with great historical, cultural and natural beauty. Among those Japanese polled who have traveled to Turkey, 95 percent said they were pleased with their visit.
Next year the Ministry of Culture and Tourism plans to engage in promotional activities to attract tourists from more countries, including Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Egypt, Finland, India, Iran, Israel, Kazakhstan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Poland, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Syria and Sweden.

Resource: Today’s Zaman

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