The minister of culture and tourism has said the budget allocated to promote tourism is inadequate, noting that it must be increased if Turkey wishes to compete with other popular tourist destinations.Speaking to the Anatolia news agency yesterday, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said his ministry received $140 million for promotional activities this year but that the ministry may well exceed this amount since it needs to make further expenditures. He noted that the Culture and Tourism Ministry makes a great effort to effectively advertise Turkey abroad, underlining that the ministry is about to come to an agreement with some of the world’s major advertising agencies for tourism promotion next year. “We want to run more dynamic promotional campaigns in 2009,” he noted. Emphasizing that Turkey has many rivals to compete with in tourism, Günay said his ministry has worked hard in this field and carried out various promotions abroad and also domestically. “We have many representatives; they contribute to increasing Turkey’s competitive edge in global tourism and we also provide them with financial support,” he said, adding that Turkish representatives also participate in many large international tourism conferences during the year.
In addition, he noted that Russia had declared 2008 the “Year of Turkey” and that his ministry had organized several meetings to provide an introduction to Turkey there. He went on to say the ministry expects to realize its promotion goals for 2008 before the end of the year.
The ministry expended a large proportion of its budget, $45 million, for advertising abroad, while it spent $39 million last year. However, the number of countries in which Turkey advertised increased to 83 from 76 last year. Turkey spends the most on promotions in Germany, Russia, England and the US. Turkey this year allocated half of its promotional budget for advertising in just these four countries.