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Sunday, 13 January, 2019, 10 : 00 AM [IST]

Indian tourist arrivals in Turkey to increase in 2019

The Turkish Tourism Board in India has announced that the number of Indian tourists travelling to Turkey could reach nearly 2,50,000 arrivals in 2019. The numbers are expected to rise with increase in direct flights between Turkey and India this year. If this happens, it will be a record number for Turkey in terms of the Indian tourist arrivals. 
Currently, the tourism board estimates that more than 1,60,000 Indian tourists travelled to Turkey till December 2018 though the confirmed numbers are yet to come from Ministry of Tourism, Turkey.
Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, said, “By the end of 2018, Turkey hosted more than 40 million tourists and as a result Turkey ranks 6th in terms of the international tourist arrivals in the world. Istanbul and Antalya are amongst the top 5 cities in Europe in terms of international tourist arrivals by hosting more than 12 million tourist in one year.  The numbers for India are positive too, however we know that it could be much better. In 2019, Turkey Tourism will focus on highlighting the uniquness of Turkey in India with special attention on cultural heritage sites like Gobeklitepe, Ayasofya and Topkapi.”

About 10 million Turkish people travel abroad every year and are looking for new destinations. India has always been perceived as a mysterious country by Turkish people for cultural diversity, yoga and religion.  Turkey and India enjoy warm relations, which has steadily grown year by year in both scope and depth and spans many different areas of cooperation. The tourism exchange between both the countries has gone upward and Turkey is emerging as a hotspot for MICE, weddings and leisure tourism. India is one of the most crucial and promising tourism markets for Turkey.

With the inauguration of new Istanbul airport which is supposed to be the biggest when it operates with the full capacity, new frequencies and operations from different international airlines will increase including ones operating from India. The aviation industry in India is growing tremendously and the majority of Indian aviation companies are looking for new destinations.  Istanbul being a hub city for Eurasian and Middle East regions gives hope that no Indian airliner would want to miss the opportunity of directly flying to Turkey from different Indian cities and benefit from new Istanbul airport.
“As Tourism Counsellor, I know that Turkish people have keen interest to visit & explore India. However, lack of sufficient direct flights between both the countries and difficulty in procuring Indian visa for Turkish citizens hinders the arrival of Turkish tourists to India. With mutual efforts, we can overcome these problems and increase the mutual touristic flow between our countries. I also believe that tourism authorities of both countries need to work in association with each other so that both India & Turkey can achieve the target numbers.” said Ersöz

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