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Turkey woos Indian wedding and golf travellers through roadshows

Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism in association with Turkish Hotelier Federation (TUROFED) recently organised a series of roadshows in Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, Hyderabad and Delhi. The objective of the roadshow was to educate the travel trade about golf, wedding and honeymoon destinations in Turkey, and Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya were showcased for the same. Emin Cakmak, Chairman, Turkish Indian Tourism Council (TITC); Ozgur Ayturk, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Embassy; Ceylan Ozen Erisen, Turkish Consul General in Mumbai; Mehmet Akay, General Manager Western & Southern India, Turkish Airlines; Iqbal Mulla, President, Travel Agents Association of India; and Zakkir Ahmed, President, Travel Agents Federation of India among others were present at the event in Mumbai recently.

Ayturk stated that India is an important source market for Turkey, which is evident from its rapid growth so far this year. “We have already seen a 20 per cent growth in Indian arrivals at 66,700 in the first nine months of 2012. In 2011, we received 74,000 Indian visitors and we expect this will go up to one lakh this year,” he said, and added that there has been a surge in travellers commuting for wedding, honeymoon and golf recently. “We hope to highlight the wedding and honeymoon destinations in Turkey and create awareness about the facilities offered through these roadshows,” he said.

Turkey has been voted the sixth best emerging destination by several magazines with 31.4 million arrivals in 2011. “We hope to become the best overseas destination soon. This will, however, take time in India. To meet this end, we are planning joint marketing campaigns with key trade partners here, details of which will be divulged later,” Ayturk said.

According to Ayturk, there is immense potential for Indians looking at new tourism destinations and Turkey fits the bill owing to its diverse tourism offering that can cater to the needs of all segments of travellers. He also divulged that the Turkish Government and its airlines are looking at doubling the number of flights between the two countries from Delhi and Mumbai and also exploring the possibility of starting flights from few more Indian cities to drive the traffic.

Speaking at the Delhi roadshow, Osman Ayik, Chairman, Turkish Hoteliers Federation, said that India is one of the key markets for them and the positive growth rate of Indians visiting Turkey has strengthened his confidence in it. “Off late, Turkey has seen a change in the profile of its visitors in terms of their expectations and aspirations. A greater number of ‘wedding tourists’ have started visiting the country. Hence, through this road show we want to showcase the finer aspects of our beautiful country that would appeal to the Indian visitors,” he added. The delegation at the roadshow comprised 12 hoteliers from Antalya, Istanbul and Cappadocia. It was the Turkish Hoteliers Federation’s first event in India, aimed at educating the trade here on the three segments of tourism, thereby increasing Indian footfall and room nights to the destination.

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