Turkey's Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay said Turkish tourism sector boasted a 10% rate of annual growth, above the global average.
In an exclusive interview with the AA, Gunay said his ministry aimed at attracting more elite and richer tourists to Turkey, noting that Turkey was a destination also preferred for cheap holidays.
Of course all tourists are welcome, from all countries and all economic segments, Gunay said, adding however that Turkey needed to raise money for maintenance of ancient ruins and historic sites.
"Therefore, we are working to attract people from more elite and higher income segments," said Gunay.
Gunay said Turkey was promoted mostly as a destination of coastal holidays, but they were working to change that. He said they were exerting efforts to promote Turkey as a destination of congress, health and spa, golf and culture holidays.
"Turkey is one of richest destinations in terms of archeology. We are working to make our museums more attractive to visitors," said Gunay.
He said his ministry was working to increase the budget allocated to archeology, adding that they were investing more in excavations and archeological maintenance works.
Most recent data on the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey says 8 million foreign tourists visited Turkey between January and May 2010.
According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism data, the number of foreign nationals visiting the country rose by 10.14 percent year-on-year between January and May 2010.
Germany ranked the first among countries sending tourists to Turkey. Iran and Russia followed Germany.
1.2 million German, 739 thousand Iranian and 678 thousand Russian tourists visited Turkey in the first five months of 2010.
The number of foreign tourists coming to Turkey in May 2010 rose 15.7 percent year-on-year and reached 3.1 million.
AAGüncelleme Tarihi: 06 Temmuz 2010, 11:57