The developments in tourism sector are much more striking, although there have been experienced quite important improvements and developments in almost all fields, in all sectors and in all branches of the economy in Turkey. In many branches of tourism, the fastest growing sector in the world for the last fifty years Turkey, has a great and unique potential which cannot be seen in any other country. Therefore, it can be said that tourism is the field in which Turkey is the most competitive in the world markets. According to the information given by the World Tourism Organization, 25 million persons made tourist travels in all over the world in 1950. This number reached 278 million in 1980 and 760 million in 2004. The developments in tourism, which is the fastest growing and top-notch sector of the world, are expected to increasingly go on in the future. And the number of tourists throughout the world is expected to reach 2 billion in 2020. Especially within the past 20 years, Turkish tourism has shown a development much above the one in the world tourism markets. This trend is expected to increasingly go on.
Turkey have gained extraordinary achievements in tourism sector especially in the last twenty years, although it entered into the tourism sector rather behind its competitors.
In 1963, the Ministry of Tourism was founded and consequently Turkey just entered into the tourism sector. While the total number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey was 198, 841 in 1963, this number increased 106-fold and reached 21,122,798 in 2005. While the tourism income of Turkey was 7, 7 million US Dollars in 1963, it reached 18,2 billion US Dollars at the end of 2005. The total bed capacity of Turkey increased 29-fold and reached to 685, 885 from 65,000 in the period of 20 years between 1984 and 2004.
While the number of foreign tourists visiting our country was 1,2 millions in 1980, this number increased 17-fold and reached up to 21,1 million. And our tourism income increased approximately 55-fold and reached up to 18,2 billion US Dollars in 2005.
The upward trend in tourism sector of Turkey is confirmed with the numbers of the World Tourism Organization. In 2004, Turkey became the fastest growing market in Europe with its growth of 25 percent in tourism sector and rose up to the 8th level in international tourism income throughout the world.
These achievements will increasingly go on, and Turkish tourism will grow two-fold above European average over the next 20 years. Moreover, Turkey has approximately a two percent share in the world tourism cake, which shows that Turkish tourism runs for much bigger achievements and developments in the future.
With its mountains of 5000 meters at height covered with snow and favourable for skiing for 8 months of the year, with its valleys, canyons, thousands of thermal hot springs spread over the different districts of the country, with its caves, its rivers inviting rafting enthusiasts, with its icy springs, its very green forests, its endemic plants above 3000, more than the entire Europe, its distinctive living kinds, its mountaineering, congress, yachting, golfing, faith tourism facilites and its nature-adventure, culture-art alternatives, with all kinds of alternative tourism for sport enthusiasts, Turkey is an extraordinary holiday country where everybody can find more than their expectations and can live privileges and differences.
Hence, Turkey is tourism destination where customer satisfaction is the highest and the first-time comers cannot resist coming again and again.
The unique potential of Turkey in tourism sector and the prospective positive expectations make attractive to invest into Turkish Tourism sector in terms of domestic and foreign tourists. Especially the investments of foreign investors in tourism sector are made easier through land allocation, foreign investment incentives and other incentive exercises.