New Delhi, Türkiye anticipates welcoming a record 2.7 lakh Indian tourists in the past year, surpassing the figures from 2022 and 2019, according to Onur Gözet, Deputy Director General, Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Republic of Türkiye. In an interview with ET, Gözet revealed plans to target 3.5 lakh Indian arrivals in the upcoming year.
Türkiye witnessed a significant surge in popularity among Indian couples seeking destination weddings in the past year. Gözet highlighted the importance of the Indian wedding segment, considering it a strategic way to promote Indian culture in Türkiye.
The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, is actively working on simplifying the visa application process for Indian travelers. Türkiye aims to enhance transportation connectivity with India, with Turkish Airlines currently operating 14 flights per week from Delhi and Mumbai, along with Indigo offering the same frequency. Gözet emphasized the significance of transportation in promoting tourism and expressed intentions to increase flight connections between the two countries.
Gözet acknowledged India as an emerging source market for tourism, emphasizing its importance for the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and Turkish Tourism Authorities. Türkiye aims to make India one of its top ten source markets in the next two to three years.
In an effort to diversify its tourism product, Türkiye is keen on attracting Indian tourists interested in culture, history, events, shopping, weddings, and other MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Exhibitions) events. Gözet outlined plans to involve more Indian travel agent associations, such as the Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI) and the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India (OTOAI). Türkiye aims to expand its presence in potential markets like Ahmedabad, Lucknow, Chennai, Bengaluru, and Chandigarh.
Despite the ongoing global challenges, Türkiye remains optimistic about the future of its tourism industry and is committed to strengthening ties with Indian travelers.