KARACHI: Turkey’s newly appointed Counsel General in Karachi, Tolga Ucak said that Pakistan needs to increase the number of quality hotels and more importantly, bring down hotel fares in order to boost tourism in the country.
“Pakistan must bring down hotel fares in the country in order to make it economical for tourists coming to the country. It would definitely increase tourism,” said while talking to reporters at the sideline of Turkish Airlines Agency Award ceremony on Thursday night.
Ucak praised Pakistan’s decision to introduce visa on arrival policy and said that it was a good initiative to enhance tourism and trade.
He further said that security was getting better in Pakistan’s commercial hub Karachi and added that the city would be introduced to Turkish people as a safe and interesting tourism destination.
He also revealed the number of Pakistani tourists visiting Turkey has increased nearly ten times since the year 2000.
“In the year 2000, the number of Pakistani visitors to Turkey was just 7,908 to be exact. It increased almost three times to 21,000 in 2007 and increased to 50,000 by 2014. And now the number of travelers from Pakistan to Turkey has reached 77,500 in 2017,” he said.
He added that most of the people traveling to Turkey from Pakistan have corporate interests. He also hoped that with several attractive packages by Turkish Airlines, 2018 would set a new record of Pakistani travelers travelling to Turkey. The Consul General said that UN World Tourism Organization figures for global tourism for 2017 is 1.3 billion people with an annual rise of 6.7 per cent.
The number of foreigners visited Turkey in 2017 was 32.5 million with an annual increase of 27.8 per cent compared to 2016.
GM Karachi Turkish Airlines, Fatih Atacan Temel said that his airline recorded a 352 per cent increase in its corporate sales from Karachi station, achieved a 34.5 per cent revenue increase, 5 per cent passenger load factor increase, and 13 per cent business class cabin load factor increase in 2017.
Turkish Airlines has achieved an increase of 9.3 per cent in the number of passengers in 2017 compared to the previous year, carrying 68 million 616 thousand passengers.
Passenger’s occupancy rate increased by 4.7 percentage points to 79.1 per cent. In the last month of 2017, the flag carrier reached its occupancy rate of 79.5 per cent – the highest in its history.
The Turkish Airlines is also planning to target Pakistan’s Umrah travelers and according to Fatih, the Turkish Airlines product would be competitive and unique in nature with pilgrims being able to travel to Istanbul as well during the trip.
Meanwhile, Turkey will be making its new airport in Istanbul functional on its national day on October 29 this year, which according to Fatih will be an important connection point for East and West. The airport will have six runways and is dubbed as the biggest infrastructure in Turkey to date with world-class facilities.