Between 2002 and 2005, Turkey enjoyed great success in its tourism industry. It entered a world top-10 destination with the annual number of visitors rose from 12.8 million to 21.2 million. Tourists were coming from a wide range of countries and cultures, attracted by the Aegean and Mediterranean coastlines, the mixture of Asian and European influences and the charm of Turkey’s numerous sights. However, this year has seen an 8.9% fall in the number of foreign visitors.
Turkey’s image has been severely damaged after a string of terrorist attacks. There were further problems of the bird flu outbreak last year, the crisis of the cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed and the surplus of hotels on the Mediterranean coast. Oktay Varlier, head of the Turkish Investors association, has pointed out that the number of hotels has caused huge competition, therefore lower prices, therefore less revenue.
In order for the 2007 not to be as disappointing as 2006, the country’s image needs some “renovations”. The nation’s new advertising campaigns shall be aimed at images of ‘peace’ rather than beauty as beforehand. Whereas tourist operators used to use pictures of Turkish landscape and monuments in advertising material, pictures of people will become more common as the country aims to recover from a number of setbacks.