Deputy Prime Minister Mehmet Şimşek made a speech titled “The Economic Impacts of the Travel Industry” at the World Tourism Forum Global Meeting. Underlining that tourism is one of the most critical industries for Turkey, he declared that the tourism industry would bring highest foreign exchange income despite lower ratios.
Deputy Prime Minister Şimşek noted that many sub-industries of the manufacturing industry imported goods and exported them after assembly as part of the net value production while it was not the same for the tourism industry. He emphasized that the considerable amount of foreign exchange incomes in tourism consisted of net figures and appeared as effective currency highlighting that tourism is a very critical industry both from a national and global perspective.
Deputy Prime Minister Şimşek reminded that the world started to express the idea “Exports are good, imports are bad’’ again noting that some countries started to take measures accordingly. He stated that the opinion that trade eliminates employment was wrong as there was no evidence for this. In his speech, the Deputy Prime Minister highlighted that policymakers needed to develop policies to boost trade and overcome income inequality and added: “Countries cannot tell its citizens not to travel although they may seem protectionist in production.
Protectionism will have no role in exporting tourism. People still desire
to discover, go on holidays and take a break. They don not want to do it
just in their own countries. That is why I feel optimistic. In my opinion,
the tourism industry has a bright future despite the difficulties it faces.
There are many things to do in this industry. Moreover, it has many
input-output relations with the other industries.”
The Deputy Prime Minister announced that they aimed to achieve
$50 billion with 50 million tourists by 2023 and higlighted the importance of the health tourism. He argued that the world population aged
and an aging population would be a serious global problem and emphasized that meeting the needs of the elderly will prove critical. Therefore, he said that the Turkish health care industry would be a very important export item in the years ahead. Referring to the terrorist attacks
around the world, Deputy Prime Minister Şimşek told that they tried
to eliminate all terrorist networks.
He noted that that the lack of functional governments in Syria and Iraq
constituted a conducive ground for terrorist networks and emphasized that Turkey would overcome it. Addressing tourism’s social as well as economic impacts, Deputy Prime Minister Şimşek continued: “The more people travel and understand each other, the more sustainable the global peace will become. Tourism’s biggest influence is creating a better dialog between civilizations. People who continuously visit Turkey know that our country is as safe as other countries. In 2016, 25.3 million foreign tourists visited Turkey despite the terrorist attacks and the failed coup attempt. I don’t think that the fear of terrorism will stop people. It may affect them in the short term, but we will overcome this fear. Turkey offers highly advanced facilities. We have a first class tourism infrastructure. Highly educated professionals offer services to tourists.”

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