High on MiCE, weddings

H Deniz Ersöz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India, feels that India’s tourism potential is growing and its tourist traffic to Turkey is poised for great growth.

Inder Raj Ahluwalia

Q. What are Turkey Tourism’s plans to promote the country in India?

Recognising India’s tourism potential, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India has a focused work plan. The promotional campaigns for the Indian market will be divided into three parts, namely, FITs and cultural tourism, MiCE and weddings. Turkey has gained popularity as a destination particularly for MiCE and weddings. Istanbul, Antalya and Izmir are known for their good venues and possibilities for MiCE groups.

Weddings are the next vital segment Turkey wants to focus on. The aim is to make Turkey one of the most popular destination wedding venues for Indians. So far, in 2018, the country hosted more than 10 Indian weddings. This apart, the Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in India will also be doing some joint promotional activities with India’s biggest tour operators to attract FITs and leisure groups.

Q. Are the numbers of Indian tourists visiting Turkey annually increasing?

Yes, there is an increase, especially this year. We recently Announced that the number of Indian tourists travelling to Turkey has doubled within the period of January to June 2018 as compared to the previous year. Turkey hosted 70,000 Indian travellers during this period. A growth of 100 per cent has been recorded vis-à-vis the same period last year. By the end of 2018, Turkey is expecting to welcome 200,000 Indian tourists, which means a very impressive growth of 120 per cent in comparison to 2017.

Culture, nature & cuisine

Q. What are the main segments of the Indian market? Is it leisure travellers, groups, etc?

While all segments of the Indian market have potential, we are majorly targeting FITs, MiCE and wedding groups. We believe the Indian wedding market can yield very good business for Turkey.

Q. What, in your opinion, are Turkey’s strongest attractions and selling points for Indian tourists?

Turkey offers several attractions, such as nature, culture and a deep-rooted historical and religious background, which is reflected in the country’s 18 UNESCO world heritage sites. The country also offers diverse cuisine and entertainment options, along with world-class hotel and transportation sectors. In addition, Turkey is replete with several tourist sites. All these add up to form a very comprehensive and high-value package. Adventure tourism, faith tourism and weddings and MiCE are emerging trends.

Weddings are the next vital segment for Turkey. We aim to make it one of the most popular destination wedding venues for Indians. So far, in 2018, the country hosted more than 10 Indian weddings

Q. What are Turkey’s three main tourist attractions?

The country’s three main tourist attractions are Istanbul, Cappadocia and Antalya. But Bordrum, Pamukkal, Mugla and Çankaya are also noteworthy destinations.

Q. Is it easy for Indians wanting to visit Turkey to get tourist visas?

Yes, it has now become very easy for Indians to get Turkish tourist visas. For those having a valid Schengen, UK or US visa, e-visa facilities are available, wherein applicants can get visas to Turkey in less than 15-20 minutes. The other visa applicants can contact VFS for the same. For big groups travelling to Turkey, the process of getting visas has become smoother.

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