Targeting 70 million foreign travellers in 2023

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy has announced at ITB Berlin that 2023 should see 70 million visitors, with revenues topping €62bn.

The Minister came to ITB Berlin to highlight the ambitions of the Turkish government regarding tourism. “Our target for 2023 is to host 70 million tourists and to earn US$70bn. We are working hard to achieve that target,” the Minister said, while also highlighting that Germans were among the most important inbound visitors for the country. Last year, from a total of 46 million, Russia generated 5.96 million arrivals (up by 15.1%), followed by Germany with 4.51 million (up by 11.4%), Bulgaria with 2.39 million (up by 6%), the UK with 2.25 million (up by 5.7%) and Georgia with 2.07 million travellers (up by 5.2%).


Luring more tourists will require further investment by the government, not only in infrastructure such as new highways, airports or ports, but also on the “soft” side: “We have three priorities: the sustainability of our tourism; technology and quality. We see the necessity to increase the quality of our service, as it will help us to generate more income for our tourism sector,” explained the minister, adding, “We just signed an MoU with the Ministry of Education to improve training of our students such as requiring them to learn three different languages. We will also encourage hotels to give a training to more students,” added Mr Ersoy.


The Minister is also looking to turn more areas in the country into new tourism destinations. “There is a huge potential for history and cultural tourism as we continue to open more archaeological sites. Only 10% of archaeology sites are visited currently, and we want to emphasise our rich gastronomy culture,” he explained.

A new promotional body is soon to be founded, gathering together government institutions and the private sector, with a potential budget of €135m.

Photo: Mehmet Ersoy, Minister of culture and tourism, Turkey