Turkey welcomes growing numbers of GCC tourist
Turkey plans to stage its biggest ever promotion at Arabian Travel Market (ATM), the Middle East travel and tourism industry show, which will be held at the Airport Expo Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), May 7-10, as the country looks to build on a surge in outbound tourism from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).
The Turkish Tourism and Information Office is mounting a 141 square meter pavilion at Arabian Travel Market 2002, reported a press release. The pavilion is 18 percent bigger than last year.
The expanded ATM participation comes as Turkey celebrates a 71 percent increase in its tourism arrivals from the Gulf and looks for even bigger regional gains. "In the first nine months of last year some 30,947 tourists from the Gulf visited Turkey, compared to 18,080 for the same period in 2000," said Hasan Zongur, Information Attaché at the Turkish Tourism and Information Office in Kuwait.
Saudi Arabia remains the biggest GCC tourism market for Turkey. In the first nine months of last year arrivals from the Kingdom touched 19,474—almost a 35 percent increase on 2002. Kuwait provided the next largest numbers is tourism to Turkey, with arrivals from that state almost tripling to 5,077. Tourist traffic from the UAE virtually doubled to 3,266 while arrivals from Bahrain more than tripled to 2,153. Qatar and Oman, though amounting to smaller tourism market for Turkey, accounted for 492 and 485 arrivals respectively.
"Our arrivals from Qatar more than quadrupled last year while those from Oman were heading for a four-fold increase," said Zongur. Despite the surge in traffic from the Gulf, Zongur says the Middle East still accounts for only 1.66 percent of all tourism arrivals to Turkey.
"Taking into account the potential of the Middle East and the propensity of people in the region to travel, we believe our market share remains insufficient and we have to boost it further," said Zongur. "Currently tourists from the European Union (EU) represent 61.24 percent of Turkey's total tourism arrivals and the Middle East share should be judged against that. In the coming years our target is to ensure that the Middle East accounts for a market share of at least 10 percent of all our tourism arrivals."
"The exhibitor profile currently spans 38 countries, a mix of both inbound and outbound
destinations, which demonstrates the continuing appeal of the Middle East market in times of an international industry slowdown," said Matt Thompson, Group Exhibition Director (Overseas Events), RTE.
"Turkey's objectives appear to have been significantly met by the show and the prospective of
continuing to live up to its expectations are strong with 62% of exhibitors polled after last year's exhibition saying they had generated on-site sales enquiries."
Arabian Travel Market 2002 represents the ninth in the highly-successful annual series, the only travel and tourism event with a true Pan Arab reach. RTE says despite the international travel downturn it expects this year's event to match its record 2001 showing when over 700 exhibitors from 59 countries participated and over 10,000 people, including 6,336 trade professionals visited.
RTE, which is part of Reed Exhibition Companies (REC), organises 11 events world wide, including World Travel Market, Arabian Travel Market, C.I.S. Travel Market, EIBTM, British Travel Trade Fair, PATA Travel Mart, International Golf Travel Market, Mediterranean Travel Fair, Top Resa, AIME and ICCA Exhibition in association with ICCA Congress.
REC is the world leader in creating high profile, targeted industry events where buyers and
suppliers come together to do business. Every year, REC events bring together some 156,000 suppliers and over nine million buyers from around the world. Today, REC events are held in 29 countries throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia/Pacific and are organised by 30 fully-staffed offices. REC's portfolio of over 440 events serves 49 industries in 12 key sectors. As a member of the Reed Elsevier Plc Group, a world-leading business and information provider, REC offers integrated market access programmes covering exhibitions, trade publications, direct marketing and the Internet. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)
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