UN World Tourism Organization head says, "Turkey is a must-see location for everyone, it is the perfect destination. Secondly, and most importantly, travelling to Turkey is the best response that could be given to terrorism."

A fishing boat sails in the Golden Horn with 17th-century Ottoman era New Mosque in background in Istanbul, Turkey, April 14, 2016.
A fishing boat sails in the Golden Horn with 17th-century Ottoman era New Mosque in background in Istanbul, Turkey, April 14, 2016.

UN World Tourism Organization Secretary General Taleb Rifai said on Thursday that travelling to Turkey is the best response to terror threats.

While delivering the opening speech at an international travel fair in Istanbul on Thursday, Rifai said, "There are many reasons to travel to Turkey. Firstly, Turkey is a must-see for everyone, it is the perfect destination. But secondly, and most importantly, travelling to Turkey is the best response that could be given to terrorism."

The UN tourism body head added that, "We should continue travelling to Turkey ... History will prove that Turkey will come back stronger."

TRT World's Zeina Awad gives more details.

The 21st East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel fair (EMITT) 2017 brings together 5,000 organisations and institutions from around 80 countries.

United Nations' World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Taleb Rifai delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) in Istanbul, Turkey, on January 26, 2017. (Anadolu Agency)
United Nations' World Tourism Organization Secretary-General Taleb Rifai delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) in Istanbul, Turkey, on January 26, 2017. (Anadolu Agency)

At least 60.000 visitors are expected to visit the fair that is held with corporate sponsorship of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkish Republic, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Turkish Airlines.

"2017 will a better tourism year than 2016"

Turkey's Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci said that 2016 was a bad year for tourism due to terrorist attacks worldwide.

"2017 is going to be better than 2016, and 2018 will be even better," he said.

Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) at the TUYAP Fair and Convention Center in Istanbul, Turkey on January 26, 2017.  (Anadolu Agnecy)
Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci delivers a speech during the opening ceremony of the 21st East Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Exhibition (EMITT) at the TUYAP Fair and Convention Center in Istanbul, Turkey on January 26, 2017. (Anadolu Agnecy)

"No place in the world can say ‘I'm 100 percent safe'. Terrorism is a global phenomenon, it can happen anywhere in the world, and the fight against it has to be on a global scale. Turkey is a country with a lot of experience in this issue."

"Hopefully, in the coming years, we will see that its effects will diminish gradually," Avci added.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies