Turkish coast. How in 20 years Turkey has become a mecca of world tourism
A historian by training, Kayhan Dinchmen moved to the Anatolian coast from a small town on the Black Sea coast of Turkey in 1996. He decided to master the profession of Turgid. He drove around the region even few tourists, showed them ancient cities and talked about antiquity. This work brought more money than teaching or academic studios.
In Kemer, where he settled, 5-6 thousand people lived, and few thought about tourism as a business. However, life soon changed dramatically. Investors came to the region and built the first hotel for Italians in Kemer – Turban Italia with an all inclusive leisure system. The hotel was more than in demand. Soon, hotels in Kemer began to grow like mushrooms after the rain.
There are tens of thousands of people with a similar fate in Turkey. Since 1970, the tourist flow in the Anatolian region has grown 15 times, up to 11 million tourists. The Turks themselves also pulled into the region for vacationers – so many visitors need to be served by someone. Unemployment in the region has declined significantly. “From the moment I arrived in Kemer, the number of inhabitants of the city has grown eight times. The population of Antalya itself has increased by almost nine times – up to 1.3 million people. We have built an airport and roads. In addition to five-star hotels, villas and apartments have been built that foreigners rent or buy, “- does not hide pride in a conversation with a Dintchman correspondent.
Competently built state policy allowed to turn from a depressed agricultural region into the Mecca of world tourism in Antalya.
Recipe for success
In the 50s of the last century, after Turkey joined NATO, the United States proposed that the Turkish authorities establish a hotel management school in the country. Under the leadership of USAID, they developed a curriculum, wrote and translated textbooks into Turkish. In 1961, Ankara Otelcili Okul Hotel School opened in Ankara. She taught hotel management and restaurant service. Then the first laws on tourism support appeared.
And in 1982, Turkey adopted a “revolutionary” law on the promotion of tourism. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism has the right to determine areas promising for the development of tourism, order road construction and issue loans to businesses through its own bank. Moreover, the ministry was given the right to nationalize private property for the construction of hotels. Officials can also check and fine hoteliers. Penalties often reach several percent of the value of the object – 20-30 thousand euros.
“Turkey has chosen the Asian model of tourism development, according to which the state creates separate enclaves on its territory and favors tourism development: it tidies up the infrastructure at the state expense and provides serious incentives to promote the tourism business,” said Alexander, Chairman of the Board of the Hospitality Industry Association of Ukraine Liev.
The main incentive that the Turkish authorities offered investors in the tourism sector was the possibility of free land lease in areas promising for the tourism industry for a period of 49 years. In addition, future hoteliers received preferential tariffs for electricity, water and gas, exemption from a number of taxes and duties, as well as soft loans for construction.
“The owners of our hotel received a building plot in the late 80s, and the hotel opened in 2008,” recalls Eldar Izmailov, director of sales at the CIS market at Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa in Belek. Investors – a family of Turkish metallurgists of Yazidzhi – invested about $ 100 million in construction, and about $ 10 million were sent to open golf courses. Thanks to the loyal conditions of the government, the investment has almost paid off. Although Izmailov explains that due to increased competition, the profitability of the hotel business in Turkey today fell to 15%, whereas in 2005 it was 35%.
It is noteworthy that investors invested not only in the construction of hotels, but also in infrastructure. For example, on a concession basis, private companies built tunnels in the mountains leading to resorts.
In addition, foreign investment has been made in the construction of the airport in Antalya. The airport was invested by the German company Fraport AG, which manages the Lufthansa base airport in Frankfurt, and the Turkish investment holding IC. At the same time, the government continues to subsidize airlines to this day. For each flight arriving in Antalya with more than 100 passengers on board, they receive compensation in the amount of $ 6.3 thousand.
With the help of a policy of stimulating an industry important for the economy, in a short period of time, the Turkish authorities employed local residents, built an extensive hotel chain and also attracted foreign tourists to the country. At the same time, the development of tourism took place without any preferences for local business – both for Turks and for foreigners, the government provided equal opportunities.