Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı is set to take additional measures to revive the tourism sector, which has been experiencing a downward trend due to the crisis after Turkey downed a Russian warplane last November and the ongoing terrorist attacks in the country.
In a meeting with Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB) President Başaran Ulusuoy, Avcı announced that the deadline for flight support for travel agencies bringing tourists to Turkey has been extended from May 31 to Aug. 31 to preserve the tourism industry's international competition power regarding tourism-oriented travel to Turkey and to revive the sector.
Today, Avcı will hold a meeting today with representatives from the tourism sector in Istanbul to announce new measures to heal the sector and give a message of unity.
During his meeting with Ulusuoy, Avcı said they would give more weight to tourism promotion and that they saved an additional budget for promotional activities. The ministry completed its projects in terms of providing tourism professionals with Social Security Institution premium payments and restructuring or delaying bank loans. An announcement will be made soon. The number of visitors to Turkey in the first quarter of 2016 was sharply down due to regional troubles making tourists leery. Visitor numbers slipped 4.4 percent on a year-on-year basis for the January-March period to over 5.1 million people, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute. The average tourist expenditure - the main source of the country's tourism income - was $717 per capita, compared to $737 in the previous quarter.