Attending the opening ceremony of the Van Culture Route Festival, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy responded to journalists' questions regarding the industry's current issues.

"Our goal: $103 per night per tourist"

Ersoy highlighted that in the first five months of this year, Türkiye welcomed 15.784 million foreign tourists. "Including an estimated 3.3 million expatriate citizens, we had a total of 19 million visitors in the first five months of this year, marking a 12.5% increase compared to the same period last year," he said.

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Reminding that Türkiye hosted 56.7 million foreign visitors last year, Ersoy reiterated their target of 60 million foreign tourists for this year. "Visitor numbers are just a statistic. What matters to us is working with a revenue-focused system. All the figures indicate that we will reach $60 billion in tourism revenue. For us, the key metric is the increase in per capita nightly income. Last year, the per capita nightly income was $93. This year, our target is $103," he added.

Targets for visitors from the U.S., China, and the UK

Minister Ersoy also shared information about Türkiye's goals concerning emerging markets. "Last year, 1.38 million American tourists visited Turkey. This year, we're aiming for 1.55 million, and by 2028, our target is 2.5 million American tourists. China, Korea, and Japan are among our target destinations. We're not neglecting traditional markets either. Last year, around 3.85 million British tourists came, and this year our target is 4.4 million. Our 2028 target is 5 million, but we expect to reach this goal sooner. We're conducting special promotions focusing on cultural, city tourism, and gastronomy for Chinese tourists, aiming to reach 2.5 million gradually. We shouldn't focus on just one type of tourism or one market," he said.

"We want a stable and healthy program"

When asked about tourism operators' complaints regarding low exchange rates and inflation, Ersoy emphasized the importance of successfully combating inflation. "Inflation also bothers us as tourism professionals. Our sector's expectation is the successful conclusion of the fight against inflation as scheduled. We don't want zigzags; we want a stable, healthy program, and this should be our priority," he said.

"Exiting the grey list positively impacts tourism"

"Türkiye's removal from the grey list (a list created by FATF - Financial Action Task Force - to identify countries with deficiencies in combating money laundering and terrorism financing) is important as an investment criterion and positively impacts the tourism sector. Over the past 5-6 years, we have shown that Türkiye is vulnerable to crises due to its geopolitical position. Since we cannot change this, we will make our sector resilient to crises. One of the reasons for establishing the TGA (Turkish Tourism Promotion and Development Agency) was this. We have made our sector resilient, which has increased foreign investors' interest in the Turkish tourism sector," Ersoy explained.

Editor: Haber Merkezi