Turkish Tourism Minister: The situation in Syria has a negative effect on Turkey

  • Published by Ozgur Tore

On the second day of ITB Berlin 2013, tourism supply continues to meet with tourism demand.

omer-celik ilkay-gundoganTurkish Culture and Tourism Ministry held a press conference at ITB. Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik attended the conference. Çelik said that tourism is not only about mobility of people around the world but also is the destruction of psychological walls between peoples of different nations. Çelik stated that they do not prefer long-term strategies, but instead they need to develop short-term and efficient strategies.

Turkish descent Ilkay Gündoğan, who plays at Borussia Dortmund and German National football team, is introduced by Turkish minister as an ambassador of Turkish Culture and Tourism.

Çelik added that Turkish tourism revenues remain strong, but Turkey and others in the region, are counting the cost of Syria’s civil war: “The situation in Syria has a negative effect on Turkey and also for Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, the entire region. All of what is happening there is having a negative effect on regional peace and tourism as well,” said Çelik.

At ITB Berlin the Spanish Tourist Board presented a survey by the Spanish Institute for Tourism Studies (IET). According to its figures, around 57.71 million foreign tourists visited Spain in 2012, 2.7 per cent more than in 2011; making 2012 Spain’s third most successful year in tourism to date, surpassed only by 2006 and 2007. The majority of foreign tourists were from the UK. In 2012 more than 13.6 million Britons visited the Iberian peninsula and its islands. The second-largest group were the Germans, of whom over 9,350,000 visited in 2012, 4 per cent more than in 2011. Third-placed were the French. Slightly less than 9 million of Spain’s northern neighbors came to visit.

Minister for Industry, Energy and Tourism José Manuel Soria said they have received the largest increase in visitors with almost 40 per cent from Russia. Soria added that in 2013, Spain’s ageing hotels would require modernisation. In order to achieve this, the Spanish government intended to remove bureaucratic and administrative hurdles.

The Cyprus Tourism Ministry has launched an "aggressive" policy to promote Cyprus as a tourist destination for Germans, with the hope of also promoting the island as a business center in order to attract investors.

The Sharjah pavilion at the ITB (International Tourism Bourse) in Berlin saw a heavy turnout of dignitaries, European media and international exhibitors and delegates including the UAE's ambassador to Germany HE Jumaa Mubarak Al Juniabi and Berlin Mayor HE Klaus Wowereit.

While inaugurating India pavilion at ITB Berlin, India Tourism Minister said that a proposal to extend visa on arrival facility to the German tourists is under active consideration of the Government of India. “During the year 2011, over 24,000 German tourists visited India and we are looking forward to further increasing the tourist traffic between the two countries,” he added.

South Africa Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said positive growth from the traditional markets in general - and Europe in particular - gives us confidence that the work we are doing to grow tourist arrivals is paying dividends. South Africa has every reason to feel confident about the state of its tourism industry going forward. Minister Van Schalkwyk also underlined the importance of the German market for South Africa, and stressed that the growth of arrivals from Germany must be maintained. To inspire and motivate German travellers, South African Tourism continues to intensify its marketing initiatives with German tour operators, and also approaches travel agents individually to educate them about the destination.

Dató Mirza Mohammad Taiyab, Director General Tourism Malaysia is attending ITB Berlin. 25 million travellers visited the country, 1.3 per cent more than in 2011. By contrast, tourist numbers from Germany rose. Over 131,000 visitors from Germany, an increase of 5.3 per cent, came to see the country’s beaches, jungles, nature reserves and pulsating cities. Minister announced that in 2020, Malaysia is expecting to host 36 million tourists and revenues equivalent to 40 billion euros.

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