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Friday, 07 December, 2018, 17 : 17 PM [IST]

‘We have registered 91% growth from India during January-August this year’

Turkey is not just about Istanbul, but much more beyond that; there are destinations like Antalya and Cappadocia that have not been explored by the Indians yet, says Deniz Ersoz, Director for Culture and Tourism Office of Turkey in New Delhi . He spoke to Prasenjit Chakraborty on the sidelines of the Turkey roadshow in Mumbai recently.
Q What is your plan to promote Turkey in the Indian market?
We are quite aware of the fact that the Indian market offers us huge scope and keeping this in mind, the Turkish Tourism Board in India has taken slew of measures to attract more Indian travellers. This road show is a testimony of that. In this event, we have brought together a huge delegation from Turkey. India is a priority and potential market for the tourism industry of Turkey.

Q Could you tell us the segments that you want to target in India?
In India, we are focusing on MICE, FIT, and wedding segments as of now. All the segments offer huge scope for Indian travellers. Turkey has already become a popular destination for MICE as we are taking big groups there. This year in July, a group comprising 3,000 people from a pharmaceutical company visited our country. We want to showcase more of our MICE offerings. In fact, we have adopted different strategies for different segments. to organise their wedding events outside the country. We are doing a separate campaign to project Turkey as a wedding destination. Besides this, we are also closely working with wedding planners from India and also doing some joint activities as well. We have also conducted a familiarisation trip for 14 wedding planners and they have visited different places so that they can promote and bring large wedding groups here.

Q Safety has become an important parameter for tourists especially against the backdrop of recent terror attacks in Turkey. How do you address the issue?
I am here in India from the last six months and rarely faced such a question. From January to August, this year, Turkey has witnessed 22% growth of international tourists when compared with 2017 (same period). I expect by the end of 2018 the figure will be 40 million. I think the figure itself speaks volume about safety of tourists in Turkey. As far as India is concerned, we registered 91% growth from this market during January to August this year, when compared with the same period of 2017.

Q How do you see China vs. India as a tourism source market?
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey has identified both India and China as potential markets.

Q What is your plan to engage closely with travel trade of India?
We will be conducting roadshows in India again in February 2019 during which we will cover Tier-II cities like Pune, Kochi and Chandigarh. We realised that smaller cities also have tremendous potential. We are already associated with big tour operators in India and also have online campaign in place. So, we are quite active in the Indian market.

Q When it comes to tourism in Turkey, it is largely about Istanbul. Do you have plans to promote other destinations as well?
Our target is to promote entire of Turkey to Indian market. There are many destinations in Turkey which have not been explored by Indian tourists yet. Antalya is one such destination which is spread over a green plateau that runs parallel to the Turquoise Coast. I am sure the Indian tourists will love the tranquil and serene beauty of Antalya. The city also offers sports activities like mountaineering, skiing, sea-diving, golfing, rafting, among others. Antalya is Turkey’s largest city located on the Mediterranean coast. Spring and autumn are the best seasons to visit Antalya. This year alone we will host more than 15 million tourists in Antalya. Besides this, there are other cities like Cappadocia and Mugla which could be very interesting for Indian travellers.
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