The tourism bosses of Turkey are targeting an overwhelming 1 million Chinese tourists in the year 2018 that has been declared officially as the ‘Turkey Tourism Year’ in China.
It is actually a part of the framework of the ‘One Belt One Road’ project.
Fuat Köroğlu who is the head of Wanda Real Beijing owns the Wanda Group of China. He told a state-run news agency that the declaration of 2018 as ‘Turkey Year’ by China would go a long way in ushering in important opportunities for this sector.
He added that the main issue of Turkey is that the country has been leaning on to inappropriate marketing policies.
With an aim to evaluate this key opportunity, a PR plan as well as a comprehensive marketing plan needs to be created without delay, he feels. He thinks that the Chinese market is quite big and also a ready market.
He then said that Chinese travellers are generally fond of places like the United States, Maldives, Singapore, Switzerland, Italy, France, Thailand, Japan and South Korea. Some of these countries are actually the largest competitors of Turkey with regards to the tourism industry.
He says that a detailed analysis should be undertaken to understand as to why the Chinese people prefer travelling to these countries.
Fuat Köroğlu also feels that if Chinese tourists are to be impressed, Turkey also should diversify her tourism attractions since Chinese tourists do not like to emphasize on swimming and sunbathing tourism.
One of the tourism players from Denizli province said that up to about 95% of Chinese tourists heading to Turkey tend to head towards Pamukkale.
The other favorable destinations for Chinese tourists are Cappadocia, Istanbul and many other places.
Murat Şen who is the head of the Denizli Touristic Hoteliers Association who is also a board member associated with the Hoteliers Federation of Turkey (TÜROFED) said that the number of Chinese tourists heading to this nation had increased manifold since the year 2011.
In the initial five months of 2017, as much as 81,000 Chinese visitors had paid visit to Turkey.
Sen asserted that their goal is to welcome about 300,000 Chinese visitors this year, but even that number is not enough. He added that 180 million Chinese tourists travel abroad each year and spend a total of $250 billion.
Zeng Wei who is the CEO of Haisia Tourism and Travel Agency said that Turkey also needs to be ready with a proper promotional plan in China and emphasize clearly that it is completely devoid of any security issues.