The ruling Justice and Development Party (AK Party) yesterday submitted a bill to establish a new agency to promote and develop tourism in the country.
"Our main objective is to help Turkey take a larger slice of tourism revenues," Mehmet Muş, the AK Party deputy chair, told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The new Tourism Publicity and Development Agency also aims to raise the recognition of Turkey to the highest levels, said Muş.
He said the agency will also "help boost the number of tourists as well as the expenditures per tourist." Muş added that the agency will have a 13-person board, including the CEO of national flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY) and representatives of the public tourism sector.
The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey surged 11.3 percent year-on-year in the first five months of this year, according to official data. Nearly 12.8 million foreigners visited the country this January-May, compared to 11.5 million in the same period last year.
Russians made up 13.1 percent of the foreign visitors (or 1.8 million), followed by Germans at 9.5 percent (1.2 million), and Bulgarians at 7.7 percent (more than 980,000).