Turkey to strengthen tourism amid Russia row

Turkey’s prime minister has revealed new measures for the tourism industry as tension between the country – a highly popular destination for Russian tourists – and Moscow remains high.

Ahmet Davutoglu’s remarks came at a press conference to start a major national and international publicity campaign – dubbed ‘Discover the potential’ – in Istanbul on Friday.

Davutoglu said that some measures had already been taken to strengthen Turkey’s competitive tourism capacity earlier in 2015.

As part of those measures, Davutoglu said, travel agents from eight countries which are part of the Commonwealth of Independent States had already received special incentives.

“We will continue [this] practice by expanding its content. In this regard, we increased the number of tourist-bringing countries to 27,” Davutoglu said, without specifying the new nations.

Addressing a crowd which included some of the country’s leading business figures, bankers, academics and sportspeople, Davutoglu said that Turkey had already financially supported some travel agents for non-scheduled touristic flights to the tune of $6,000 each.

“We paid around 22,173,000 TL [$7.6 million] for 983 flights in the April-May 2015 period,” he said, adding that this practice would continue increasing in the 2016 season.

“The support that we will give flights which bring tourists to Antalya, Mugla and Izmir airports, is no longer for aircraft coming from a particular country,” Davutoglu said.

“[The new implementation] will apply to any aircraft from all countries regardless of their starting point,” he added.

The logo and slogan launch of ‘Discover the potential’ was held in September last year by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

This campaign presents Turkey’s face to the world, replacing the ‘Made in Turkey’ brand.

During the new campaign, which started on Dec. 1 this year, French, English and Arabic-language promotional videos will be shown around the world, while a Turkish video clip is being prepared for the domestic market.


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