Istanbul (AFP) – Istanbul’s international travel agency (TIA) is set for an expansion in Turkey as part of a bid to attract more tourists from the Middle East.
The Ankara-based travel agency said the expansion would bring in a further 30 staff, as well as doubling the number of trips booked each month.TIA plans to open two new branches in the country, including a branch in the capital, Ankara, as part.
“It was an enormous relief when we heard that Istanbul’s tourism sector is going to expand,” TIA director-general Efkan Ozdemir said.
“Turkey’s tourism has been growing for a long time, and now we are going to have a more extensive branch in Istanbul.”
Turkey has long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most visited destinations in the Middle West.
But the number and pace of visitors to the country has been steadily dropping in recent years as a result of rising crime and unrest in the region.
In 2014, Turkey recorded a record 1.4 million foreign visitors, a fall of 25 percent from a year earlier.
The government blames a rise in crime linked to the conflict in neighbouring Syria for the decline.
The country has seen a surge in tourism in recent months, with the number going up by 25 percent in January and January-June, according to tourism agency Halkbank.
The agency has more than 30 branches across Turkey, including in Istanbul, Ankara and other major cities.