The Turkish Office of Culture and Tourism is a stellar performer at this year’s World Travel Market (WTM), with this year’s Turkish stand EM800 covering approximately 1000 square metres; growing 30% in size since last year.

Speaking at the press conference, Mr. Ozgur Ozaslan, announced that “Turkey, which ranks 7th in the world tourist arrivals according to the World Tourism Organisation, has not suffered any reduction in its tourism arrivals in the past two years unlike most other countries. Indeed, by welcoming over 27 million visitors to its shores in 2009, Turkey achieved growth of 2.8% in visitor numbers thereby becoming the only country to experience a growth in inbound tourist numbers that year. This year growth looks set to be even more spectacular according to data which reveal over 23 million visitors arriving to Turkey so far in the first nine months of 2010, translating to a year on year increase in tourist arrivals of 6%. Our aim is now to become one of the top five tourism destinations in the world.”

Turkey’s success has also been repeated in winning various tourism awards, including being voted “Favourite Destination” in the 2010 Reader’s Travel Awards by the readers of the world famous Condé Nast Traveller UK magazine and the numerous World Travel Award European awards it has received this year.

Istanbul, the European Capital of Culture for 2010, has also staged countless arts and cultural festivals and activities and concerts and has acted as host to a string of such world sports events as the world basketball championships FIBA and Formula 1 races. In a continuation of Turkey’s emerging role in the sports world the Universiad Winter Games will be held in Erzurum, Turkey’s centre of winter sports, on 27 January – 6 February 2011, and the European Youth Games will be held in Trabzon on 23-30 July 2011.

Back in London, Turkish President Mr. Abdullah Gul will be opening the Yunus Emre Cultural Centre tomorrow, 9 November, in addition to the Mimar Sinan exhibition.

The WTM Turkey press conference was attended by Mr. Ozgur Ozaslan, Deputy Undersecretary Responsible for Tourism, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Mr. Cumhur Guven Tasbasi,
General Director for Promotion, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism; Mr. Levent Demirel, Deputy General Director, Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Mr. Irfan Onal, Director, Turkish Culture and Tourism Office UK.

WTM is also attended by Turkish Members of Parliament, Provincial Governors, representatives of the tourism industry and senior representatives from the Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry this year. There are also special head-to-head sessions with senior representatives from the Mugla and Antalya regions and a series of high level meetings throughout the four days.