Turkey 2010: hopes for a successful season

Turkey 2010: hopes for a successful season
The Holy Wisdom Cathedral or Hagia Sophia Mosque is the main sight of Istanbul and a symbol of Turkey

Turkish tourism in 2010 promises to be successful. It is because one of the major tourist destinations of the country - Istanbul – is declared as the Cultural Capital of Europe. Therefore, the city administration is rightfully looking forward to the growing of interest to "the pearl of Turkey".

However, the predictions of increasing the flow of tourists to Istanbul are not justified until now. Local tourism authorities on Wednesday 7 April 2010 announced a report for the first quarter of 2010. It is noted that for three months in 2010 Istanbul was visited by about 1 million 150 thousand people. This is almost a hundred thousand tourists less than the same period of the last year, according to the publication Hürriyet Daily News. Tourists from Germany and Russia are the most active pilgrims to the sights of Istanbul, followed by visitors from Iran, Italy and the UK.

In the past year, despite the financial crisis, Istanbul remains among the most popular destinations in Turkey. In general, in 2009, Istanbul was visited by 7.5 million tourists. This year, when discussing the possible number of visitors of the ancient city the officials from the tourism industry of Turkey announced a forecast figure of 10 million tourists. Overall, in 2009 Turkey was visited by 27 million of tourists, which enabled the country to enter the top 10 most visited countries in the world.

Many travel agencies in Turkey are hoping that this season for the country will be successful. Concerns of the local companies are only related to the possibility of reducing the price of tourist services by the main tourist competitors of Turkey - Spain and Greece. In this case, Turkey risks of losing a significant proportion of German tourist traffic.

As for Russia, given the importance of Russian tourists to Turkey's tourism, the authorities seek to improve conditions to attract Russians to the country. So, on April 6, 2010 Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the agreement on visa-free communication between the two countries could be signed during the forthcoming visit of Dmitry Medvedev in Turkey, which is scheduled for May.

Date: 09/04/2010

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