Arab tourists revive Turkey's East Mediterranean economy

Economy and tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean part of Turkey have revived as more Arab tourists visited Turkey thanks to mutual visa exemption with Syria and Lebanon.

Arab tourists revive Turkey's East Mediterranean economy

Economy and tourism in the Eastern Mediterranean part of Turkey have revived as more Arab tourists visited Turkey thanks to mutual visa exemption with Syria and Lebanon.

The head of a regional chamber of commerce said that southern provinces of Adana, Mersin, Hatay and Gaziantep had attracted particularly Syrian and Lebanese tourists.

"We will launch ferryboat services among Mersin, Beirut and Tarabulus (Tripoli-Lebanon) on December 13," Serafettin Asut, the chairman of Mersin Chamber of Commerce & Industry (MTSO), told AA correspondent.

Asut said the ferryboat could carry 700 passengers, 25 trucks and 250 automobiles, and there would be only one ferry voyage during winters and two during summers.

Also, Talat Dincer, the chairman of Mersin Tradesmen and Artisan Chambers' Association, said that Turkey and Syria should launch ferryboat services between Mersin and al-Latakia, and launch joint highway and railway projects.

Moreover, Kadir Teksoz, the chairman of Hatay Tradesmen and Artisan Chambers' Association, said the number of Syrian tourists in the city was up 70 percent after two
countries had mutually lifted visa procedures.

In October 2009, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and his Syrian counterpart Walid Muallem signed an agreement to end visa restrictions.

Under the agreement, Syrians are able to travel to Turkey without visas, and vice versa, and they will be allowed to stay in the other country for a period of up to 90 days in every six months.

In January 2010, Davutoglu and Lebanese Minister of Foreign Affairs & Emigrants Ali al-Shami signed the agreement on reciprocal removal of visa requirements.

Under the agreement, Turkish and Lebanese citizens will be exempt from visa reciprocally for their stay in each other's territories no longer than 90 days.


AA

Last Mod: 09 Aralık 2010, 11:52
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