The Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, met with some travel agencies and former executives of TÜRSAB (Association of Turkish Travel Agencies) at the Atatürk Cultural Center. Ersoy shared the details of the new TÜRSAB law they have prepared with the participants. According to preliminary informations, TÜRSAB will be divided into five associations, and the authorities of TÜRSAB will be transferred to the Ministry.

"TÜRSAB will divided as 'Tour Operators,' 'Hajj and Umrah,' 'IATA Agencies,' 'Health Tourism Agencies,' and the existing TÜRSAB" said one of the participants.


According to the information the main regulations in the new draft law are as follows:

* Travel agencies with a turnover of 250 million liras and above will be called 'tour operators'.

* With the new law, elections for travel agency associations, which will be a minimum of five, will be held in regions.

* The Ministry will handle the new travel agency document application processes.

* The entrance fee will initially be 350,000 Turkish Lira, with 175,000 going to the Ministry and 175,000 to the relevant association.

* Membership fee that agencies will pay will be up to 2.5% of the agency establishment fee.

Travel agencies came together in İstanbul opposed the new law Travel agencies came together in İstanbul opposed the new law

 * With the new law, four new agency associations will be established: Tour Operators Association, Hajj and Umrah Agencies Association, Air Ticket Selling Travel Agencies Association, and Health Tourism Agencies Association.

* In addition, 1000 agencies can come together to establish different associations. However, each agency can only be a member of one association.

* Associations are prohibited from establishing foundations and companies.

* Supervisions will be transferred to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, but associations can also conduct it.

* According to the new draft, agencies will only use guides in archaeological sites. The obligation to have a guide during transfers will be removed. Additionally, changes to the Guide Association law will open the way for Turkish guides for Turkish groups.

* The legal personality of TÜRSAB will be protected in the new law, and the elected management will continue to serve until the general meeting.

* On the other hand, if the current draft of the law is enacted, it is stated that the transfer service provided by travel agencies will be limited only to 'package tours.' This implies that travel agencies providing VIP transportation services will not be able to operate, and tourists arriving in Türkiye without joining a tour will only be able to go to their hotel by taxi.

Editor: Savaş Daş