Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci says his country aims to be one of the top three tourism destinations by 2023 in an interview with TRT World.
Last year's decline in tourism was temporary and the industry is on the mend, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci said.
The minister was speaking to TRT World about improvements in the tourism sector days before he is due to attend the International Mediterranean Tourism Exhibition in Israel. This will be the first time a Turkish minister will visit a counterpart in Israel since relations relations were restored in 2016.
Some of the low numbers in 2016 seen were a result of a decline in Russian tourists after Turkey gunned down a Russian jet in 2015, the minister said. Even these made a recovery as the two countries saw an improvement in their ties, Avci said.
"We are also developing new strategies to expand beyond our traditional markets. Now we will promote all aspects of what Turkey owns, such as gastronomy, historical sites, skiing and religious monuments."
Terrorism is not restricted to Turkey, Avci commented on a recent spate of attacks in the country. "Turkey is as safe as Germany, France and Belgium."
TRT World's Andrew Hopkins talks to the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Nabi Avci.