One of the countries badly hit by the Thomas Cook collapse plans to massively raise its tourism promotional budget to $180 million in 2020.

Thomas Cook was a mainstay of package tourism to Turkey and now the country has outlined plans to attract 75 million visitors and $65 billion in revenue by 2023.

An estimated 80,000 Thomas Cook holidaymakers from the UK, Germany, Scandinavia and Russia were in Turkey when the company failed.


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The 21,000 from the UK started to be flown home as part of the Civil Aviation Authority’s emergency repatriation effort.

Turkey’s tourism minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy revealed that Thomas Cook had “extensive credit” with the hotels in the country “who are now massively out of pocket”.

An urgent $50 million state loan is being organised for businesses who have suffered from the failure.

Ersoy said: “I’ve emphasised that the fiscal and financial structure of the global tour operators provide us with a risk, especially because it is the most common way that visitors buy tourism products for Turkey. In future we need to increase the proportion of independent travel outside of the package structure.

“We have already been planning to restructure the industry in Turkey to slowly increase the number of scheduled flights to accommodate both package and independent travellers and we have completed the necessary infrastructure.”

A new tourism strategy will see a new centralised tourism promotion and development agency being created.

The promotional budget will rise from $72 million this year with an aim is to increase the total to $180 million in 2020 and an expected $220 million by 2023.

Ersoy plans to switch the country’s approach to a “sustainable and income-driven” model.

Turkey also aims to increase package tour rates from 15% to 60% “by ensuring quality and service amongst suppliers”.

New advertising films will be used in international markets in 2020, introducing Turkey as a destination of rich and diverse experiences.

The tourism minister said: “Turkey is a world leader for travel and offers a wide range of travel opportunities that meets the ever-changing expectations of today’s tourists.

“By putting the new strategies outlined in Turkey’s tourism strategy 2023 into practice, we will ensure Turkey will advance to the upper league in global tourism when it comes to tourist numbers and size of income.

“We are aiming for more than 75 million tourists to visit our country and reach an income of $65 billion by 2023.

“We plan to realise this by raising the number of average nights from 9.9 to 10 and increasing the average spend per tourist to an average of $86 per night.”

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