Turkey Recovering With Help From Travel Agents

by Richard D'Ambrosio
Turkey Recovering With Help From Travel Agents


Tourism to Turkey has struggled following a string of terrorist events and political instability the past year, but travel agents believe the country’s vast natural resources and rich heritage will continue to draw visitors from all over the world.

In the past year Turkey suffered attacks at Ataturk Airport, at a bazaar in downtown Istanbul, and at a nightclub in Ortaköy.

Nevertheless, agents who have visited the country have faith that Turkey’s tourism will rebound. Loretta Murray, director at Able Travel in Mississauga, Ontario, felt extremely safe during her fam trip to Turkey last June, and was overwhelmed by the hospitality of residents and shopkeepers she met. A Pakistani Christian who moved to Canada about 40 years ago, Murray said she felt extremely welcome, and that the blend of Turkey’s religions and cultures (from the Greek, Persian, Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires) makes for the kind of life-changing experience travel is all about.

“I never felt unsafe. I always felt embraced by the people we met,” Murray said.

Joanna Rummens, marketing manager at Connaissance Travel and Tours in Toronto, said she was amazed at the diversity Turkey presents to travelers. Formally educated in anthropology and sociology, Rummens has a particular interest in Turkey because of the extensive range of religions, cultures and cuisines that can be found there. “The country is so vast, and you find such a wide range of flavors in the cuisine, that come from all of the different cultures who have lived in Turkey. It’s truly amazing,” she said.

“Once someone visits Turkey, they realize how rich the country is in different experiences,” said Numan Olcar, a board member of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.

Attending Travel Market Place in Toronto this week, Derya Serbeti Acar, director of Turkish Culture and Tourism Office in Ottawa, spoke to Travel Market Report about tourism trends and talked about how the country has been promoting itself heavily to Canadian travel agents.

Serbeti Acar noted how Turkey has been emerging as a major golf destination ever since Tiger Woods’ famous golf shot on the Bosphorus Bridge about four years ago. Some of the most famous names in golf, including Nick Faldo and Colin Montgomerie, have designed courses in regions like Belek, on Turkey’s southern Mediterranean coast, and are drawing tourists from all over Europe, and the world.

Belek is located in Turkey’s Antalya province and also is known for its all-inclusive resorts, beaches and thermal spas. Nearby archaeological sites include the Roman amphitheater at Aspendos and the ancient Greek city of Perge’s colonnaded streets.

  2
  0
Tip of the Day
Daily Top List

Offline Places to Find Luxury Travelers

1. Local schools.

2. Professional services.

3. Local luxury retailers.

4. Arts community.

5. Luxury establishments.

Source: TMR

TMR Recommendations
Top Stories
Marriott Debuts Virtual Reality Views of Properties on iPhone
Marriott Debuts Virtual Reality Views of Properties on iPhone

For travel agents, a new way to ‘get everyone excited, and thinking about new destinations, hotels and brands they might not have considered before.’

U.S. News Names Paris World’s Best Place to Visit
U.S. News Names Paris World’s Best Place to Visit

Ranked as top-notch by U.S. News & World Report, are these hot destinations around the world on your short list to recommend?

Hotel and Resort Guide to What’s Open on Hard-Hit Caribbean Islands
Hotel and Resort Guide to What’s Open on Hard-Hit Caribbean Islands

Puerto Rico, St. Martin/St. Maartin and St. Barths have made great strides in rebuilding and getting back to normal, and they’re ready to get their bustling tourism industry back in full swing.

New Zealand Pursuing Electronic Travel Visas
New Zealand Pursuing Electronic Travel Visas

The New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority would cost approximately NZ$9 and be good for two years.

Tauck’s Baltic Cruise: Trying Something New
Tauck’s Baltic Cruise: Trying Something New

The first exclusive Tauck cruise tour was a pleasurable experience and a great introduction to the countries in the Baltic region.

Avanti Launches Air-Inclusive Packages, New FIT Itineraries for Off-Season
Avanti Launches Air-Inclusive Packages, New FIT Itineraries for Off-Season

The tour operator's Go360 marketing campaign focuses on the benefits of off-peak travel, from lesser crowds to good value accommodations.

News Briefs
TMR Report Cards
Advertiser's Voice
Advertiser's Voice: Norwegian Cruise Line