Türkiye, a popular tourist destination, is eyeing a 30 per cent jump in arrivals of Indian travellers in 2024 and looking for partnerships for tourism growth in the two countries, a senior official said.
In an interview with PTI, Turkiye Ministry of Culture and Tourism Deputy General Director of Promotion Onur Gozet said that the country remains committed to foster bilateral ties in tourism and seamless travel experiences between the two countries.
“We attach great importance to the development of our bilateral tourism relations. Therefore, as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, we are ready to support the Indian tourism authority to increase the number of Turkish visitors in India,” Gozet said.
He said they have been in close cooperation with the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI), the biggest tourism association in India.
Gozet said there is an increasing popularity of Türkiye among Indian tourists with arrivals growing by 17 per cent to an estimated 2.7 lakh visitors in 2023 as compared to 2.3 lakh in 2022.
“Looking ahead, Turkiye aims at hosting more than 3.5 lakh Indian visitors by the end of 2024,” he said.
According to a 2023 global travel report, Turkiye, which shares a border with Europe, emerged as the major “comeback destination” with a 73 per cent increase in the number of visitors as compared to pre-pandemic levels, outpacing France (33 per cent up) and Spain (31 per cent up).
The country offered stunning beaches, European-influenced culture, and architectural marvels at competitive prices as compared to other European hotspots.
Gozet stated that to save time and a seamless experience, Turkiye offers e-visa, and in 2023, 75 per cent of Indian tourists visited the country with such travel documents.
“Besides leisure, MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) and weddings are key segments for the Turkish tourism sector in the Indian market. We also make sure that Indian MICE and wedding groups go through a smooth process with the waiver of most of the documents in their applications,” he said.
The growth potential for Turkiye as a tourism market, particularly from India, is substantial, he said.
“We are also focusing on increasing visibility and presence in Kolkata, a city with the headquarters of prominent Indian tour operators,” the official said who was here recently.
Amid tourism being a key forex (foreign exchange) earner for Turkiye, the country remains committed to sustainability.