Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said, “We are third in the world in terms of the number of blue flags awarded. We have 463 blue-flag beaches. Our target is to carry our country to the top."
Minister Ersoy, raising the blue flag in Fethiye Ece Marina, said that their target was to increase the number of tourists and the tourism revenues as well.
Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, participating in the National Blue Flag and Environmental Awareness Award Ceremony organized by Turkey's Environment Education Foundation (TÜRÇEV), stated that they aimed to carry Turkey, ranking currently third, to the top.
Minister Ersoy said tourism in the world requires a great perception and promotion concept and also emphasized the importance of having the assets registered.
Minister Ersoy, revealing most of the tourism data from sea, sand and sun, said tourism in Turkey would diversify by 2023.
“TÜRÇEV has a significant duty”
Minister Ersoy said keeping the environment and the seas clean plays a remarkable role in sea, sand and sun tourism and added,"At the registration phase, TÜRÇEV has been playing a significant role for 26 years. Registration alone is not adequate. The register documents shall be preserved and sustained by organizing training oriented for local people and entrepreneurs. TÜRÇEV has a significant duty in this regard.”
“We have to work hard to achieve our goal”
Minister Ersoy informed that there were 463 blue flag beaches in Turkey and Antalya ranked first followed by Muğla. Minister Ersoy, stating that their target was to reach to the first ranking, also added, “That is why we have to work hard. Tourism investors, hotel owners and municipalities have important duties in achieving this goal. They have to make every effort to reach this target. It is not a very difficult one. We are rapidly increasing our blue flag number."
"Turkey should become a country whose tourism revenue envies everyone."
Stating that Turkey had exceeded a certain threshold in tourism, Minister Ersoy added, “We have reached a significant number in the number of tourists. From now on, I will speak like an artisan. We have to take the returns for what we have already spent. You have to get the returns of your efforts. The tourism revenue of Turkey should increase at the same rate. We need to be a country whose tourism revenue envies everyone. Turkey has great potential as well as valuable assets to realize this target. We solely have to build the awareness required."
Minister Ersoy pointed out that they needed widely-known systems for registration and also the contribution of all stakeholders to take the Turkish brand to the top among other valuable brands and to preserve this top ranking.
“Delay in Fethiye Ancient Theatre has nothing to do with our ministry”
Talking on the delay in the restoration of Fethiye Ancient Theatre, Minister Ersoy said, "The delay has nothing to do with our ministry. We are in an effort to accelerate the process. This issue was brought before the court. There is a legal process ongoing because the contractor did not fulfil his obligations. If my memory serves me correctly, only one hearing is left for the conclusion of the case. Soon after it is completed, the Ministry will take it over and finalize it rapidly. There was a castle restoration in Bodrum district of Muğla. I stepped in last year and we rapidly took over the first phase of the restoration of Bodrum Castle on May 18, as we promised. We then did another work. As of June 10, we also commissioned the amphitheatre of Bodrum Castle. I gave the necessary resources to the General Directorate of Fine Arts and Opera Ballet of the Ministry. As the Ministry, we carry out our activities in Bodrum at least twice a week. Our goal here is to spread tourism activities everywhere. If you want to achieve sustainable success through tourism, you need to spread it to every segment of society."
“Everyone should earn an income through tourism”
Ersoy told they were in an effort to have everyone in the surrounding earn an income apart from the main stakeholders of tourism, and also added, “If you manage this, you will be successful. This kind of places at city centres brings the tourists out of the hotels they stay, get them to do shopping at around 2 hours before the activities, make them walk and eat outside, all providing an income for the artisans. When you succeed this, the tourism income would be distributed and all local people would start to pay more attention to tourism.”
During the ceremony, which welcomed Muğla Governor Esengül Civelek, the president of Executive Board of TÜRÇEV Rıza Tevfik Epikmen and the protocol of the province, the managers of the beaches and marinas with a blue flag received plates.
Minister Ersoy, after raising the blue flag at Ece Marina, talked to the tourists spending their holiday there.