To sustain success in the tourism sector, Turkey should focus on small “boutique” enterprises rather than continued investment in large-scale facilities, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertuğrul Günay said.
Speaking at a conference in Ankara yesterday, Günay said large hotels and holiday villages were cutting off the tourists from the local population and Turkey should now turn to a new kind of tourism that would capitalize on the attractions of smaller places across Anatolia.
“I must confess that we are lagging behind in this area,” he said, adding that one such project was underway in eastern Anatolia in the regions of Kars and Çoruh.
The minister also highlighted environmental protection concerns and stressed that more Turkish hotels were poised to receive the ministry’s “green star” this year. The Green Star certificate, introduced in 2009, is given to eco-friendly hotels based on environmentally conscious practices. Turkey already has 325 “Blue Flag” beaches, the third largest number in Europe, Günay said.
About 31 million foreigners visited Turkey in 2011, bringing in total revenue of nearly $25 million, the minister said, adding that more than 10 million tourists went to Antalya as part of mass tourism.
“I think this year  we have come close to $25 billion of revenue,” he said. “If you add side factors, the figure rises to about $30 billion. This is not a figure that can be underestimated, but we do not see tourism as simply a way to [enlarge] economic size. It is also a tool for social development.”
Source: Hürriyet Daily News