As part of China's "One Belt, One Road" project, also known as the "Belt and Road Initiative" (BRI), the country has increased cooperation with Turkey in a number of sectors, including tourism.
Since China's declaration of 2018 as "Year of Turkey," 260,000 Chinese tourists have made their way to the country between January and August. The number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey has increased by almost 86.74 percent year-on-year.
Turkey's flag carrier, Turkish Airlines (THY) has also seen a rise in the number of passengers on their Chinese routes. With the arrival of Chinese tourists to Turkey, passenger and occupancy rates on Far Eastern flights have topped the charts.
THY flies to 36 cities in 23 countries in the Far East, while China comes to the fore as the most important destination among these countries with flights to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.
In the January-August period, THY saw its occupancy rates on Far Eastern flights grow by 3 points to reach 85.7 percent, while the number of passengers rose by 10.1 percent to 3.6 million in the same period. It has also been employing cabin attendants who speak Chinese on these flights in order to improve passenger satisfaction.
THY is also doing publicity with the goal of further growth in China. Six different social media influencers in China traveled to five different destinations from Beijing to talk about their travel experiences through social media channels and a vacation-trip platform.
A special video produced by the airlines was also shown on China's leading social media platform. The project generated 63.3 million views and $25.4 million in ad revenue. China's largest airline, China Southern, will also resume its flights to Turkey on Dec. 3. It will fly to Turkey three times a week.
According to China's tourism plan for the states included in the BRI initiative, cooperation in tourism should be increased and expanded in through tourism support weeks and promotional months. These events should be organized in the relevant countries and international touristic routes that are competitive. Products with Silk Road characteristics should be created, and applications for a visa for countries in the "One Belt, One Road" project must be made more convenient.
Stressing that cooperation is required on the "21st Century Maritime Silk Road" cruise tourism program, the Chinese state aims to conduct sporting events across the "One Belt, One Road" countries and jointly support countries in their proposals to host major international sporting events.