It is estimated that 42 million tourists came to Turkey, injecting $35 billion to $36 billion into the economy by the end of 2014, said Başaran Ulusoy, the chairman of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB). In a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA), Ulusoy said that the aim of their association is to increase the recognition of Turkey, create employment, enable cultural transfer and contribute to the living standards of people, as well as development of the country with the infrastructure work they have undertaken. He stated that their expectations were fulfilled in terms of tourism in 2014.
"There has been an increase in the number of tourists visiting Turkey and tourism revenue. According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey between January and October increased by 5.57 percent compared to last year, reaching 33,528,056 tourists," he said. In the first nine months of 2014, tourism contributed over $26.5 billion to the economy. Ulusoy said that their association considers tourism and culture as inseparable elements when it comes to increasing tourism income. Since 2011, TÜRSAB has undertaken the sale, marketing and management of museums and archaeological sites.
He said that they have increased the income of museums and archaeological sites thanks to the association's effective marketing and management skills.
"We manage 155 museums and archaeological sites and the income that we received from these reached TL 352 million [$151 million], while it was TL 169 million in 2010. We hosted 30 million museum visitors in 2013, and I believe that we will increase this number in 2014," Ulusoy said.
Turkey ranked sixth on the International Tourist Arrivals Index with 37.8 million visitors in 2013. The country earned about $28 billion from these visitors and ranked 10th on the International Tourism Receipts Index. France was the world's top tourist destination last year with 84 million visitors.