Türkiye eyes drawing more tourists from Middle East

More than 100 Turkish hoteliers and tourism agencies flocked to the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai this week as Türkiye seeks to attract more holidaymakers from the Middle Eastern countries.

Officials from the Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA), representatives of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) and Turkish Airlines also attended ATM, which is a global event for the inbound and outbound travel industry in the Middle East.

Interest in Türkiye at the trade fair was strong, said Turkish attendees, adding that hoteliers and travel agencies inked several cooperation deals during ATM, which took place between May 6-9.

A record number of hoteliers and travel agencies were present at the event this year, said Müberra Erisin, the president of the Hotel Association of Türkiye (TÜROB).

Fewer holidaymakers traveled to Türkiye in 2023 from the Middle Eastern countries, but more visitors from this region are expected, said Eresin.

Data from the Tourism show that the number of tourists visiting Türkiye from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates declined by 34 percent and 17 percent, respectively, last year.

Tourist arrivals from Qatar, Kuwait and Jordan fell by 24.2 percent, 24.4 percent and 22.2 percent, respectively. The number of visitors from Saudi Arabia, however, surged nearly 65 percent last year compared with 2022.

Eresin warned that the tension in the Middle East is impacting the tourism industry not only in Türkiye but in faraway regions as well.

"Unless peace is achieved, travelers from distant countries, such as the Latin Americas, won't be able to travel to Israel, Egypt, Türkiye and Greece" Eresin said.

Despite the unfavorable geopolitical developments,...

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