Tuesday, 14 January, 2020

Tourists Shift Away from Turkey, Turn to Iran

The main tourist areas in Turkey have long been considered as top priority for Iranian and foreign visitors and the country has been able to earn a lot of money for its tourist attractions.

However, the most recent instabilities inside Turkey as well as seeing Iran emerge as an unexplored tourist destination, especially after the nuclear deal, have made a great number of tourists prefer to spend their vacation on “safe Iran”.

Turkey, recently, has encountered internal security problems which have made inroads into its tourism industry.

PKK rebels have lately taken terrorist actions in some regions, ranging from Izmir to Van in Turkey.

The independence declaration in some Turkey’s eastern provinces has deteriorated the situations and Turkish security agents have lost control of these areas. Even, Istanbul, the most popular tourist city in Turkey, has not been immune from these attacks.

The number of foreign visitors to Turkey fell in the first half of the year, while the outlook for the rest of 2015 appears gloomy, Turkish paper Hürriyet reported on August 19.

According to the data from the Turkey’s Tourism Ministry, foreign arrivals fell 2.25 percent to 14.89 million people in the first six months. Tourism revenue is the biggest component of financing for Turkey’s large current account deficit.

Turkey’s tourism income also decreased by 13.8 percent in the second quarter of the year, down $7.73 billion compared to the same period of the previous year, according to data from the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK).

Rising security concerns due to the possibility of Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) attacks and conflicts between Turkey and the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) as well as other geopolitical risks, like the contracted Russian economy, have played a role in the decrease, according to sector representatives

On the contrary, Iran today has established full security in the country. Politically, nuclear deal also has managed to pave the way for those who interested in travelling to Iran and even Britain, whose positions against Iran are clear, recently lifted its earlier warning against all travel to Iran and declared the country, for its citizens, “safe”.

Whereas many Iranians tended to spend their leisure time in Istanbul or Antalya over the last years, they now prefer to stay at Iran’s northern cities, mainly due to instabilities in Turkey, Realiran has learned.

In an interview with Realiran, guide tour managers reported that some foreign tourists, who initially had decided to travel to Iran and Turkey as well as some other countries, removed Turkey from their tourism destinations.

At the same time, Iranian officials are trying to facilitate the entry of foreign tourists to the country. The have declared that Iran is ready to cooperate with foreign investors in tourism and related industries.

Anyway, Iran has the potential to be the top priority for tourists in region and to become a serious rival for Turkey’s tourism, providing that all cultural and infrastructural problems in the country are resolved.




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