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Turkey only incorporated policies relating to holiday making and tourism in its economic planning in the early 1960s, establishing the first official tourism organization in 1963. Turkish tourism was in its infancy in the 1960s, and the phenomenon and dimensions of tourism were not yet fully grasped. This was the time when tourism everywhere in the world was newly gathering momentum.

In the 1970s the state turned its attention to tourism, drawing up tourism development projects regional plans and initiating infrastructure projects for the sector. In 1983, to encourage Turkish and foreign investment companies to participate more effectively in the development of Turkey's tourism sector, policies were amended by the Government.

The main objectives of Turkish Tourism Policy are;

  1. To develop tourist supply (services technical infrastructure, suprastructure..)
  2. To create the best possible social conditions for tourists,
  3. To ensure the harmonious use of natural resources.

On the basis of these objectives, the Government supports the investments of the foreign companies experienced in this area in order to provide for the establishment of high standard tourism facilities.

Foreign enterprises which choose to invest in the tourism sector in Turkey are directed according to "The Foreign Investment Law" number 6224.

This law orders that the investment of a foreign enterprise must be profitable and beneficial for the development of tourism in Turkey. That is, it must increase the tourism potential of the country. Additionally, it must provide foreign tourism marketing possibilities.

Under the provisions of this Law the investor should first apply to the Prime Ministry, Undersecretariat of Treasury, to obtain a "Permit and Encouragement Certificate" for investment. This certificate is a document that allows the establishment of a company in Turkey, the participation of foreign capital and indicates the state aid measures to be gained if the investment is realized. Upon receipt of the "Permit and Encouragement Certificate", a foreign investor may receive all the privileges and state aid measures provided to local investors.

As a result of these efforts, Turkey has become the newest tourism country in the Mediterranean basin.

There has, in fact, been significant development in Turkish tourism since 1983 and a steady rise in the number of tourist facilities and bed capacity as well. The number of foreign tourists was 6.5 million in 1993 and tourism accounted for $ 3.9 billion US in revenues; the existing bed capacity in Turkey is 235,238. In 1994, the number of foreign tourists was 6.7 million and revenues from tourism totaled $ 4.3 billion US. The existing bed capacity increased to 265,136. In 1995 the number of tourists was 7.7 million and as of October 1995 revenues from tourism totaled $ 4.5 billion US. The existing bed capacity was increased to 275,342 as of November 1995.

Source: Ministry of Tourism
(1) Provisional

In conclusion, with its unique location, ideal climatic conditions, rich historical heritage and culture, unspoilt natural beauty, variety of foods, friendly and hospitable people, Turkey is a country for tourism.


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