Tourism Minister Ersoy: Despite the pandemic, we exceeded the number of 29 million visitors in 2021

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, “Despite the pandemic conditions, in 2021 Turkey has managed to exceed 29 million in the number of foreign visitors and $24 billion in tourism revenues.”

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, in his speech at the introductory meeting held at Merinos Ataturk Congress and Culture Center due to the declaration of Bursa as the “Cultural Capital of the Turkish World” by the International Organization of Turkish Culture (TURKSOY), said that TURKSOY is a blessed thought that passes through the hearts and minds of the Turkish peoples, and that it is the institution that has undertaken the will of the Turkish world to be one and whole.

Ersoy said that TURKSOY is working tirelessly to explain the Turkish peoples, who are the heirs of a history that is as old as humanity, and a culture with an uniqueness and richness that is unmatched in the world, showing and sharing the values and knowledge they have, and to bring it to the distinguished place it deserves in world cultures with its international recognition. He added saying:

“Look, we are talking about the responsibility and effort to transfer Turkish culture, art, literature, science and wisdom to the future, from traditional activities to Nevruz celebrations, from scientific studies to special projects. This is a very valuable and heavy responsibility. Therefore, we are all obliged to do our part to the best of our ability. The implementation of the Turkish World Capital of Culture is a serious opportunity in this sense. This relic, which started with Astana in 2012 and has been carried from hand to hand in the Turkish world from Eskisehir to Kazan, Merv, Sheki, Turkistan, Kastamonu, Osh and Hiva, is now in Bursa. It is necessary to take advantage of this opportunity and explain Bursa well. Because if we want to be understood, we must be well known, and if we want to be known, we must explain ourselves well.”

Mentioning that Bursa is the land of civilizations, Ersoy stated that history was determined from here until Bithynia, Lydia, Persia, Rome, Byzantium, Anatolian Seljuks and Ottomans.

Explaining that when “Bursa and Cumalikizik” is mentioned, they come across the cradle of a history that transformed from the Kayi Tribe to the Ottoman Empire, and therefore the place where the change of world history started, Ersoy continued his words as follows:

“It is because of this that this region has also taken its place on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Being at the center of the city’s history, Iznik continues to carry the most rooted, rich and elegant forms of culture and art from past to present, from mounds to historical buildings and world-famous tile art. In addition to Karagoz, which was included in the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List of Humanity in 2009, these lands inherit the art of hand and language, social, cultural and spiritual heritage, from sword-shield to travel culture, from knife art to kundekariye, from danisik night to erfane day and Judas tree festival. Let’s not forget that it should be essential to explain the reason for existence, its origin and its value, not to describe what exists. For example, seeing and visiting the Green Mosque is one thing, and knowing it is another. Knowing the Green Mosque is hearing the ‘Turkish triangle’. It is to learn the Bursa type construction plan, the Green Mosque Complex with its 6 inscriptions, being the only one in Ottoman architecture and to pass it on to the next generations, to our environment.”


Culture and Tourism Minister Ersoy pointed out that Bursa has a high potential for winter tourism, nature sports tourism, thermal and health tourism with its unique geography as well as history, culture and faith tourism.

Noting that the city has an undeniable advantage in terms of transportation, Ersoy said:

“The latest connection roads have become a much faster and easily accessible destination with the Marmara Highway. Again, when we look at international air traffic, it is in a geographical location where a population of almost 1.6 billion can reach between 2.5 and 4 hours. Having a large number of national and international investors makes Bursa attractive for business trips, corporate organizations and congresses. It is obvious how important all these are for tourism, and of course, it makes Bursa stand out compared to other cities in terms of contributing to the national economy independently in tourism. And yet, the promotion of Bursa should be a goal and target that will bring great benefits not only to the city but also to Turkey. While supporting Bursa’s being the Cultural Capital of the Turkish World and the events to be held, we have taken and continue to take steps, taking into account the weight of our city. Now, it is important to see this well-deserved title as an opportunity to raise Bursa to the position it deserves in different fields. From traditional sports organizations to fairs and festivals, from concerts and talks to exhibitions, I hope 2022 will be a year in which Bursa will make a difference. At this point, I would like to remind you that we will hold the second “Korkut Ata Turkish World Film Festival” in Bursa in 2022, in which we bring the presence of the Turkish world in cinema to the world showcase as part of the Beyoğlu Cultural Road Festival.”

Ersoy stated that 4 events were held in Bursa in 2021 at the promotion point and they invited 37 tour operators to get to know the region.

Noting that they hosted 30 press members and influencers in Bursa, Ersoy also stated that a large team from abroad made extensive shootings for the promotion of the region.

Stating that they continue to use digital channels, Ersoy shared the following information:

“Our Go Turkey portal continues to promote each region of Turkey with all its details with its constantly developing and updated content. Our city is promoted abroad by entering the relevant content in our Go Turkey social media accounts in Bursa. Over 1.5 million impressions were provided in these promotions specific to Bursa. On the other hand, with the State Theaters Bursa International Balkan Countries Theater Festival, different riches of Balkan culture are blended in Bursa stages every year, while ensuring the continuity of art and tradition with many events from the International Bursa Festival to the rooted Keles Kocayayla Cherry and Strawberry Festival adds a serious value to our city. Due to the importance we give to gastronomy, it is necessary to open a parenthesis to Bursa cuisine. From Bursa doner kebab to Inegol meatballs, from candies to chestnuts, Mustafakemalpasa dessert, Bursa’s cuisine is also a separate topic for us and is evaluated accordingly.”


Ersoy stated that Bursa will continue its rise in culture and tourism in the national and international arena, he mentioned that they will work together with all stakeholders for this province, as they do for each region and city of Turkey, that they will reach their goals and continue on their way for the better without slowing down. Minister Ersoy said:

“Despite the pandemic conditions, in 2021, Turkey has managed to exceed 29 million in the number of foreign visitors and over $24 billion in tourism revenues. Thanks to this belief and perspective, we achieved our goals this year by providing a 100% increase compared to last year. With an 83% increase in the number of visitors, we managed to catch a V exit compared to the previous year. This level reached is the success of all of us as a country. Once again, I congratulate you on the happiness of bringing such an important decoration as the Cultural Capital of the Turkish World to Bursa, with the hope that it will lead to new successes in many different fields. In this context, I invite everyone to visit Bursa and embrace the culture from traditional to modern in 2022, when many different doors from science to sports and art will be opened in Bursa.”

Source: Sabah / Translated by Irem Yildiz

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