TÜRSAB, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, is optimistic about the future of the tourism sector in Turkey. According to Hüseyin Baraner, TÜRSAB’s Foreign Operations Representative, May has seen an increase of tourists coming from Europe, despite international turmoil and threats. The official warned local operators like hoteliers and other hospitality pros to increase their marketing efforts, as participation in international fairs is not enough to raise awareness among foreign tourists.
“Next year we will enter a healthy market. Our fears will fade. 2018’s marketing will be different. We will enter safer markets and reach the old numbers again,” Baraner said, cited by the Daily Sabah.
The tourism sector in Turkey is already showing clear signs of recovery. The number of Kurdish travelers visiting the country has doubled. Tourist companies in Zakho near the Turkish border have confirmed that the number of Kurdish holidaymakers entering Turkey in the first quarter of 2917 has increased by nearly 50% mainly due to better visa regulations and a more stable economical situation on both sides of the border.
There are also positive news from air carriers like Onur Air and Turkish Airlines, which have launched new flights from Istanbul and other Turkish cities to destinations in the Middle East and Russia. Onur Air increased the number of direct destinations of Russia from Istanbul to three: Moscow, Nalchik, and Grozny. The new direct flights by Turkish Airlines will be launched from Saudi Arabia, including cities of Jeddah with connecting flights to Ankara and Trabzon; Riyadh with flights to Antalya and Trabzon; and from Madinah to Ankara. Additional connecting flights include the cities of Dammam, Yanbu, and Al Qassim all traveling to Trabzon, Trade Arabia reported.
In the first half of 2018, a new airport will soon open its gates in the capital, the Istanbul New Airport, also called the Third Airport. The airport is poised to become a valuable transfer hub and is expected to reinvigorate the competitive edge of Turkish Airlines.