If visa requirements are lifted, Turkey will save the 300 million euros it currently pays members of the European Union Schengen zone annually and, according to business executives, trade will increase and Turkish products will have a larger presence in regional markets. Officials from Turkey's tourism sector believe that this decision will have a positive impact on Turkey's image and increase last-minute sales from European countries.
According to the president of the Independent Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (MÜSİAD) Nail Opak, citizens will save anywhere between 250 euros to 300 euros with the visa exemptions. Local businesses will also benefit from the exemption, which is expected to reduce the financial losses faced by local businesses because of visa-related delays and meeting cancellations. These problems will soon be a thing of the past, and visa liberalization will make serious contributions to commercial relations between Turkey and EU countries - Turkey's biggest export market.
Turkish Exporters' Assembly (TİM) Chairman Mehmet Büyükekşi said the visa exemption would allow exporters to take firmer steps in the EU market and enable businesspeople to find European customers without the hassle of visa-related problems. This decision will also pave the way for small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs), which constitute a substantial portion of Turkey's exporters. In addition, the decision would allow Turkey to participate more in some of the world's biggest fairs that are typically held in Europe and boost the number of participants at these fairs.
Evaluating the impact of visa liberalization, Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey (TOBB) President Rıfat Hisarcıklıoğlu said they were pleased by the commission's decision. If visa requirements are lifted, commercial relations will not continue to suffer from the huge injustice associated with visa-related issues, allowing businesspeople to breathe and improve Turkey's relations with the EU in every possible way.
According to Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TUROFED) Chairman Osman Ayık, this event represents the crossing of a monumental threshold and turning point for Turkey. While the decision is sure to bring Turkey prestige, the perspectives of European citizens toward Turkey will also change and have positive effects on Turkey's travel sector in the long-term.
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