Chinese envoy: Number of visitors to Turkey from China to increase exponentially

DAILY SABAH WITH AA
ISTANBUL
Published 01.04.2019 02:10

Last year, tourism relations between Turkey and China saw a dramatic rise, and the number of Chinese visitors to Turkey is likely to continue the upward trend. In a comment on bilateral tourism activities, Chinese Ambassador to Ankara Deng Li said Turkey is one of the most intriguing countries for Chinese tourists and pointed out the huge potential of the tourism volume between China and Turkey. "We expect the number of Chinese tourists coming to Turkey to increase exponentially in the future," the ambassador said in a statement to Anadolu Agency (AA).

Ambassador Deng commented on the potential of cooperation in the fields of bilateral trade, investment, tourism, as well as the international issues on the agenda, recalling that over 400,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey last year. "In the first quarter of this year, provisional figures indicate an increase of 30 percent. This is a very good sign. Considering that the first quarter of the year is a dead season for tourism, this increase is very important," Deng continued.

Underlining that China's President Xi Jinping and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met twice last year, Deng said that the cooperation between the two countries, especially in trade and tourism, has developed rapidly, pointing out in 2021 they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

"In 2021, we aim to increase Turkey's exports to China to $8 billion, China's investment to Turkey to $6 billion and the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey to 1 million," he said. "In China, the number of citizens with an annual income of over $20,000 has reached 150 million, while the number of people traveling abroad from China has exceeded 150 million." He suggested that of these 150 million if one in every 150 people comes to Turkey, the target of one million people per year could be easily exceeded.

Deng stressed that Chinese tourists spend more money in the countries they visit compared to tourists from other countries, adding that the 450,000 Chinese tourists that came to Turkey last year were estimated to have spent at least $100 million.

Ambassador Deng said Turkey is one of the most intriguing countries for Chinese tourists, pointing to the great potential of the tourism volume between China and Turkey. "We expect the number of Chinese tourists coming to Turkey to increase exponentially in the future," he added. "In parallel with the increase in Chinese tourists, it is a great convenience to place Chinese signs in related places in Turkey. For example, Chinese signposts can be used at important transportation terminals such as the airport. This step encourages more Chinese tourists to come to Turkey." Deng, who took office in Turkey about two months ago, said Chinese firms' investment interest in Turkey is far beyond his dreams. Deng also noted that the critical role Turkey plays in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has the largest share of this interest and that this tendency will increase exponentially as the initiative begins to take form.

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