ISTANBUL: Turkey’s tourism rose 30 percent on the yearly basis and the country could gain $32 billion foreign currency inflows by the end of the year, according to Turkey’s top tourism association.
“If nothing serious or negative happens, we expect 40 million tourists by the end of 2018,” Firuz Baglikaya, head of Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB), told Anadolu Agency’s Finance Desk.
Baglikaya also said they have targeted eliminating half of the country’s current account deficit in the coming year. “We have a contribution target for the tourism to reduce the current account deficit by around 50 percent in the coming year,” he said.
Noting that the tourism is among the most contributing sectors in lowering the current account deficit, Baglikaya added that the sector contributed $21 billion for reduction of the current account deficit last year.
He said the association has welcomed the 100-day action plan of the government, especially the parts pertaining to China. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier in August unveiled first 100-day action plan of Turkey’s new presidential cabinet in the capital Ankara.
The president said over 1,000 projects will be completed within 100 days but announced most important are 400 in the program.
Mentioning that China declared 2018 the Year of Turkish Tourism, Baglikaya said the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey jumped 97 percent in the first seven months of this year, compared to the same period in 2017. Highlighting the importance of Chinese market, Baglikaya said China sends the highest number of tourists abroad.
“We will use our efforts to increase the number of Chinese tourists to 2 million in the coming years,” he said.
He also added that they plan to end the year with 500,000 Chinese tourists visiting Turkey. AA