Right after wide coverage by Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), one of Germany's leading daily newspapers, Turkey just appeared in a special 16-page publication prepared by Komsomolskaya Pravda, one of Russia's most esteemed newspapers.
The publication, organized by the Hamburg-based international content management agency UCOM Global, similarly emphasized that Turkey is a tourism paradise and invited Russians to see the country. It is worth noting that these publications were prepared in a one-week interval by leading media groups in two countries that send the largest number of tourists to Turkey.
Russia was the top country with 5.96 million visitors last year, 15.1 percent of all foreign visitors to Turkey, followed by Germany with 4.51 million visitors. Turkey welcomed 39.5 million foreign visitors in 2018, a 21.84 percent increase year-on-year, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry,
This new 16-page publication was prepared by Komsomolskaya Pravda, which has the highest circulation figures in Russia. Leading Russian reporters Marina Lugovaya, Svetlana Dzheylan, Tatyana Fedosova, Sergey Chernykh and Marina Anikeyevaa introduced Turkey to Russian readers in their own words, urging them to "go to Turkey for a holiday" just like their German counterparts.
This publication, distributed at the MITT Moscow International Tourism Fair that started yesterday, featured a statement by Culture and Tourism Minister Nuri Ersoy. That Ersoy made such a detailed statement to a foreign publication reveals how important they are to the country's promotion.
Pointing to the strong tourism link between the two countries, Ersoy said Russian tourists hold are very important for Turkey in terms of quantity and quality, adding they have very special, qualified plans for Russia with regards to tourism. "For high-income Russians to choose Turkey instead of Europe, we offer the necessary infrastructure, opportunities and tourism in line with their wishes and quickly realize projects in accordance with this goal," Minister Ersoy said. Since business class services will now be provided to Antalya, Bodrum, İzmir and Dalaman airports with scheduled flights, he said they included Russian as a mandatory language in tourism vocational high schools as of 2019. "We will continue to take similar strong steps. Any project related to investment, transportation and personnel training will be completed quickly," he added.
Since this year was declared Turkey-Russia Culture and Tourism Year, Ersoy said Russia would be the "Guest of Honor" at many events, with the opening event to be held on April 8 at the Bolshoi Theater.
Minister Ersoy mainly focused on tourism targets for Russians in his statement and shared information about general tourism strategies as the publication was delivered in Russia. Noting that they revised the tourism target for 2023 from 50 million tourists and $50 billion in revenue to 70 million tourists and $70 billion, Ersoy said that to bring the country to the position it deserves in world tourism, they started to implement their new promotion strategy. "We are planning to enter the top six this year in the number of tourists," he said. "We will also carry tourism outside known destinations. For example, we plan to create new tourism areas in the Mediterranean region, especially in Mersin, in a few years. The Aegean region will become popular for Russians in the coming period as well. We are starting to explain the prominent features of all our cities through a promotional campaign."
Also writing a piece in the publication, Sergey Markov, Secretary General of the Russian-Turkish Public Forum, said that American tourists see Paris and France as a symbol of tourism abroad, while Germans prefer Italy, and the British choose Spain in this regard, underlining for today's Russia the symbol of overseas tourism is undoubtedly Turkey.
Markov said while Russians feel very comfortable in Turkey, many factors such as visa-free travel, an all-inclusive system, geographical proximity, numerous flights and the ability to change rubles in the country attract Russians tourists. Russians also care about cultural tourism, and the Aegean has great potential in this regard, Markov wrote, stressing that if the number of Russian-speaking staff, guidance in Russian and translations in hotels increase, Turkey will gain a major competitive advantage.
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