Indian arrivals to Turkey more than doubled in 2018 according to latest statistics – up to 200,000 from 87,000 in 2017.
Now the two governments are looking at ways to increase air connectivity to satisfy this massive upturn in demand. Şakir Özkan Torunlar, Ambassador of Turkey to India said: “Soon, we will have not only Turkish Airlines but other companies including Indian carriers connecting the two countries. This will be not only from Mumbai and Delhi but also from other Indian and Turkish cities. This development should take place in the next few months.”
Emphasising that Turkey is one of the leading business destinations in the world, Torunlar added: “We hosted more than 32 million international visitors in 2017. We expect this figure will reach to 40 million by 2018.”
Turkey is rapidly emerging as a MICE destination for the Indian market. “In the past 12 months, Turkey has hosted groups from several Indian conglomerates who organized their annual meetings in Turkey,” said Torunlar.
“For more Indians to travel to Turkey, connectivity has to improve. You cannot ask a traveller to make a stopover somewhere in the Gulf on both ways and spend three to four hours for transit,” he said, adding that travel associations from India needs to support the Embassy’s efforts to enhance flight connectivity.
Deniz ErsÖz, Culture & Tourism Counsellor of the Turkish Embassy, said Istanbul, Antalya, Cappadocia, Troy and Izmir are extremely popular with Indian MICE groups. “However, Konya, Bodrum and Marmaris have also emerged as major destinations for Indians.”