Baku, Azerbaijan, Nov. 6
By Rufiz Hafizoglu - Trend:
Turgut Ozal, the eighth president of Turkey, played a very important role in the development of Turkey’s tourism sector, and today the tourism sector is one of the most developed and profitable sectors in the country.
In the third quarter of 2018, Turkey’s tourism revenues increased by one percent compared to the same period in 2017 and amounted to $11.5 billion.
In September this year, 5,425,845 tourists visited Turkey, and in January-September - 31,815,952 tourists, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey.
The tourism sector in Turkey is so interesting and attractive that even citizens of countries that have political problems with Turkey continue to visit this country.
For example, in the first nine months of this year, 349,462 tourists from Israel visited Turkey, which is 14.76 percent more than in the same period of 2017.
On the other hand, the citizens of Egypt, who also have tensions in relations with Turkey, continue to visit this country. In the first nine months of 2018, 111,311 Egyptian tourists visited Turkey, which is 50.16 percent more compared to the same period last year.
However, there is one small and poor country, the main export of which is labor migration under the guise of “tourism.” That is Armenia, with its hostile attitude to Turkey.
Three years ago, there were about 150,000 illegal migrants from Armenia in Turkey, but every year this number grows. This happens at least because migration from Armenia is the best step for the country's people to get rid of the economic problems of their poor country. Another factor is that migration to Turkey doesn’t cost much.
Further, let's take a look at some statistics on the number of Armenian “tourists” in Turkey.
For example, in 2017, 48,320 “tourists” from Armenia visited Turkey, which is 23.7 percent more compared to 2016, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
This is while in the first nine months of 2018, 39,382 “tourists” from Armenia visited Turkey, which is 8.37 percent more compared to the same period in 2017, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
In September alone, 5,929 Armenian “tourists” visited Turkey, which is 19.13 percent more compared to the same month of 2017.
Thus, statistics show that the number of Armenian “tourists” in Turkey is growing every year.
Turkish media report that the majority of Armenian citizens who come to Turkey as tourists don’t return to Armenia. It is also reported that the citizens of Armenia, who don’t leave Turkey, mostly remain in the provinces bordering with Armenia.
Thus, it is safe to say that Turkey is turning into a “tourist paradise” for Armenian citizens.
Rufiz Hafizoglu, deputy editor-in-chief of Trend
Follow him on Twitter: @rhafizoglu