Encouraged by the increase in Indian arrivals, Turkish Tourism has accelerated their marketing and promotional activities in India. Turkey received 90,000 Indians in 2012, reflecting a 24 per cent increase over 2011 when the growth rate was 16-17 per cent. Looking at the previous year, Turkey is recording double-digit growth Y-o-Y from India. The tourism board’s effort is to maintain the growth momentum from India in the coming years as well. “We are expecting a 30 per cent growth in Indian arrivals in 2013. The number of Indian tourists to Turkey has been growing up to 20 per cent on an average annually and with the focus on new travel segments, the growth rate is expected to be higher,” said Özgür Aytürk, Culture and Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Embassy in India.
Apart from Istanbul’s famous historical and cultural attractions, Turkey is also promoting the three ‘S’- Sea, Sand and Sun. “Turkey has lot to offer to all kind of travellers. Most of the Indian travellers are looking at experiencing something more than just sightseeing. 75 – 80 per cent Indians visit Turkey for leisure and quality holidays,” said Aytürk.
Aytürk informed that Turkey is aggressively promoting itself as a destination for business and cultural events. “More than 20 per cent visit Turkey for MICE. We are focusing on MICE as Turkey has state-of- the-art convention facilities. Ontalia is hosting the ICCA 2014 conference. Ismeirs and some other cities have big convention venues.” According to the statistics of ICCA, Istanbul has been ranked the seventh most popular destination for MICE.
Ayturk believes that Indian travellers look at several aspects of tourism like shopping, nature, history, etc. “We are strongly promoting the wedding and golf segment. Indians are most welcome to look at Turkey as a shopping destination as well,” stated Aytürk.
Speaking on their marketing and promotional strategy for India this year, Ayturk stated that this year the tourism board will spend US$ 1 million on advertising alone. “We will be organising joint advertising campaigns with key players of the market in India and also have an extra budget for joint promotion campaigns with some big players in the market to help them showcase Turkey’s attractions.”
Commenting on flight connectivity Aytürk informed, “Turkish Airlines, which connects New Delhi and Mumbai with Istanbul with daily services, wants to double its flights on both routes. The carrier has also sought permission from India’s Ministry of Civil Aviation to start services to Ahmedabad, Amritsar, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Kolkata.”