Turkey woos Chinese tourists during Lunar New Year holiday
Turkey’s attempt to welcome Chinese tourists
Turkey is welcoming Chinese visitors for the Lunar New Year holiday, with different regions and institutions making efforts to offer them a safe and pleasant stay.
Installation of Chinese banners at Turkish airport
In the new airport of Istanbul, Turkey’s biggest city and economic-cultural hub, many shops have placed big banners in Chinese to welcome arriving Chinese tourists, offering them discounts and holiday bargains.
Attract some tourists by the tourism agency
The week-long Chinese holiday started on Friday, groups of visitors have flocked to the airport where many were picked up by travel agencies.
Chinese tourists stay in Istanbul
“Our clients mainly go to Cappadocia (central Anatolia), the ancient city of Ephesus (western Turkey) or stay in Istanbul to visit many historic landmarks of the city,” Irfan Karsli, head of Ligarba Turizm Travel, told Xinhua.
Create a friendly atmosphere to attract Chinese tourists
He explained that compared to previous years, Turkey’s Tourism Ministry and private institutions have created a more friendly atmosphere to draw more tourists from China.
Installation of Chinese posters by the Mayor of Turkey
This year, the Istanbul municipality erected posters and signs in Chinese across touristic places.
Chinese visitors need Chinese payment system
“We see that there is real intent to be more prepared and focused on the need of the Chinese visitors, for example, in regard of the Chinese payment systems and Chinese-speaking guides and airport staff,” noted Karsli, who has been exploring the Chinese market for over two decades.
Teaching Chinese language to airport staff
“We have arranged Chinese language courses for the airport staff to offer a smooth experience for our Chinese guests,” Karsli said.
Turkey’s cooperation with Chinese e-commerce giant
In December 2019, Turkey’s Isbank, which has the country’s largest network for overseas payments, further expanded cooperation with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba’s payment platform Alipay, a move hailed by travel agencies working with Chinese clients.
Collaborations on electronic transactions under this Agreement
The new deal between Isbank and Alipay will make the latter accessible on the bank’s point of sale (POS) devices in addition to the already existing cooperation on e-transactions.
Xi’an is China’s main destination
Moreover, Turkish Airline has announced the addition of Xi’an, the Chinese city with 3,000 years of history, to its flight network. Xi’an has become the flag carrier’s fourth destination on the Chinese mainland and the 318th in the world.
28% increase in hotel occupancy compared to last year
Ali Can Aksu, head of the Turkish Hotel Managers Association, noted that the occupancy of the hotels in destinations popular for Chinese tourists has seen an over 28 percent year-on-year increase.
9% increase in Chinese tourists in 11 months
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey has gone up, with a 9 percent increase in the first 11 months of 2019, reaching 403,739, according to official data.
Beijing and Ankara agree to reach 1 million tourists
However, there is still room for improvement to reach the 1 million tourists target agreed upon by both Beijing and Ankara.
Pamukale of the famous tourist attractions
In one of Turkey’s leading tourist attractions, Pamukkale, located in the central Aegean province of Denizli, globally famed for its unique travertine terraces and healing waters, a hotel manager told Xinhua that they are doing their upmost to make Chinese visitors feel at home.
Teaching Chinese language to Turkish staff
“We have this year several staff who followed Chinese language courses and are at the disposal of our guests. We are also offering them exemplars of Turkish gastronomic delights more up to their palates,” indicated Murat Eroglu.
Foreign and domestic visitors welcomed
The site has welcomed some 2.6 million local and foreign visitors throughout 2019.
Anatolia’s central Cappadocia is a favorite tourist destination
In central Anatolian Cappadocia, another favorite destination of Chinese visitors, famous for its unique landscape and underground ancient cities, hot air balloon rides have become a must to admire from above the “fairy chimney” rock formations.
The most popular place in the world for hot air balloon
Cappadocia is the most popular location in the world for hot air ballooning. Last year, nearly half of the world’s balloon trips took place in the region, with more than half a million people taking to the blue skies, among whom were many Chinese visitors.