China will soon become one of Ankara’s “most important” tourism partners, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on April 17 during an official visit to Beijing.
Saying that nearly 250,000 Chinese travelers visited Turkey last year, he added that there was no reason to increase this to 500,000 in 2018.
“China will become one of the most important tourism partners of Turkey in the very near future,” Kurtulmuş told reporters at the 14th China International Tourism and Travel Fair in the capital Beijing, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.
He noted it was Turkey’s tourism strategy to engage in promotional activities with countries such as China, India, Japan, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“We hope that close relations between Turkey and China will reflect also in the area of tourism,” he said.
The minister said Ankara would continue to aim to increase the number of Chinese tourists coming to Turkey in 2018.
“Around 250,000 tourists came to Turkey last year. There is no reason not to increase this number to 500,000,” he added.
Kurtulmuş had previously said Turkey hoped to attract at least 38 million tourists in 2018.
According to the Turkish Foreign Ministry’s website, Ankara considers tourism as a sector with the “potential” to further enhance cultural and economic ties with Beijing.
“Chinese tourists, visiting Turkey in a steadily rising number since 2002, are strengthening ties between Turkish and Chinese people,” it said.