TGA: Key Contributions to Turkish Tourism in 2021

The Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) maintained its activities in 2021 at full capacity. TGA Board Member and Press Spokesperson Dr Erkan Yağcı notes that in 2021, as the pandemic’s effects continued worldwide, TGA provided key contributions to awareness of the Türkiye brand. Successfully carrying out numerous projects, events and promotional activities despite challenging circumstances, TGA also hosted approximately 3,800 press members, influencers, tour operators, travel agencies and opinion leaders from abroad in Türkiye, further expanding the reach of Türkiye’s brand.

The Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA) was established in 2019 under the leadership of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in order to promote and improve Türkiye’s tourism values. Dr Erkan Yağcı, a member of the TGA Board of Directors, provided information on the Agency’s 2021 activities. Emphasising that Türkiye achieved a V-shaped recovery in tourism in 2021, outpacing its competitors with 30 million tourists and approximately 24.5 billion dollars in revenue, Dr Yağcı said, “As our Minister of Culture and Tourism has expressed many times, TGA, which stands out for its flexible structure and ability to make and implement rapid decisions, has a major role in this success.”

Dr Yağcı drew attention to the notable success achieved by the Safe Tourism Certification Program – among the first of its kind worldwide – implemented by Türkiye in June 2020. Referring to two important studies conducted in 2021 by TGA within the scope of the Safe Tourism Program, Dr Yağcı said, “We hosted Turkish ambassadors, foreign mission representatives and international press members from 89 countries, invited by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, with the message ‘Security for Tourism’, featuring a special event in Antalya, for the second time in 2021. Within the scope of this event, at which we introduced the Safe Tourism Program on-site, we also ensured that our visitors personally experienced the measures implemented in touristic centres such as airports, hotels, ancient cities, and museums. We established the Vaccination Registration Program for Tourism Employees in coordination with the Ministry units. Thanks to this program, which guarantees the safety of both our tourism employees and our visitors, Türkiye again made a difference. By the end of 2021, approximately 12,000 tourism facilities, institutions and vehicles had safe tourism certificates and inspections are conducted continuously.

“We achieved remarkable success by showing the right ad to the right person at the right time.”

Noting that TGA continued its advertising and promotion activities, accelerated in 2020 and further expanded in 2021, Dr Yağcı said “Türkiye has become the most influential advertising country in the world in the last two years. By showing the right ad to the right person at the right time, we achieved remarkable success. In 2021, advertising activities were conducted in target markets and countries for the global promotion of Türkiye. At this point, TGA ensured that advertisements and promotions for Türkiye were broadcast on television channels in 23 countries and in the local languages, and that Türkiye was promoted via digital media in 93 countries – including major markets such as England, the United States of America, Germany, Netherlands, France, Italy, Sweden, Finland, Japan, India and South Korea.

Within the scope of its communication activities, TGA hosted a total of 3,770 press members, influencers, travel agencies, tour operators and opinion leaders from 62 countries, primarily Europe, Russia and the Turkic Republics, at 209 events. Through our foreign press efforts, a total of 3,632 written, visual and digital images were obtained, including 521 in print press and TV, and 3,111 online, with 1.1 billion views obtained as a result of influencer reflections.

“Numerous projects have been implemented in the field of cultural tourism.”
Stating that, in 2021, Türkiye announced the start of its normalization process in the field of arts and culture, one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic, to the entire world, Dr Yağcı added that Türkiye made significant advances during 2021 in the arts and culture field, which is one of the main elements of tourism. The number of cultural centres, which stood at 42 in 2002, expanded to 122 at the end of 2021, with thousands of local and foreign artists hosted. Dr Yağcı said, “As TGA, we supported the comprehensive opening events for the Atatürk Cultural Centre, the Beyoğlu Culture Route Festival, the Korkut Ata Film Festival, and the Historical Atlas Cinema and İstanbul Cinema Museum within the scope of these advances. With our promotional activities, realized within the framework of these structures and events that bring together millions of people from all elements of society with culture and arts, and host many local and foreign artists, we show that our country is one of the world’s leading destinations in cultural tourism.  Hundreds of press members from 40 countries around the world participated in these organizations.”

Dr Yağcı added that TGA also organized an impressive promotion within the scope of the opening of the Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park (Gelibolu Tarihi Su Altı Parkı), which is anticipated to highlight Çanakkale as one of the world’s leading diving tourism destinations.

“Şanlıurfa has become one of the world’s few archaeo-tourism centres.”
Noting that TGA operates across a broad framework – ranging from event coordination to media hosting – to comprehensively promote Türkiye’s attraction centres abroad with the utmost accuracy, Dr Yağcı emphasized the importance of TGA’s press conferences. He said, “TGA hosted approximately 3,800 people from abroad within the scope of 209 events in 2021, achieving a record number despite the pandemic conditions. As TGA, we hosted many international press members under the program we prepared for Taş Tepeler in 2021, together with our Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and introduced the unknown stories of Anatolia’s contribution to the history of humanity to the entire world. Thanks to our work directed towards raising global awareness of Şanlıurfa, this historical city has become one of the world’s leading archaeo-tourism centres.

We also hosted members of the international press during the 2nd International Presidential Yacht Race, with more than 800 national and international athletes competing for the championship. In addition, we hosted international press members at the Seb-i Arus ceremonies, which have been held in Konya on the anniversary of Hazrat Mevlana’s vuslat every year since 1937. We took an active role in the coordination and promotion of the Presidential Cycling Tour of Türkiye, which has been organized since 1963, and in which athletes from 12 countries participated.”

“We presented our country in the best way at the Formula 1 Grand Prix 2021.”

Stating that Türkiye hosted the İstanbul leg of the Formula 1, an event followed on a global scale, in addition to many other international events in 2021, Dr Yağcı said, “Türkiye hosted the Formula 1 İstanbul Grand Prix in 2020, after a nine-year hiatus, and in 2021 the race was hosted with the participation of an audience of approximately 100,000 people. We presented our country in the best possible way at this event, which we supported as TGA, and which was watched live by billions of sports fans throughout the world.”

“The Provincial Promotion and Development Program became operational.”

Dr Yağcı also noted that promoting the 81 provinces of Türkiye is an important activity in terms of expanding both tourism destinations and seasonal tourism. He said that, at this stage, the Provincial Promotion and Development Program (İl Tanıtım ve Geliştirme Programı) (ITGP), planned as an organizational structure to support the more effective promotion of destinations in the national and international arena, launched in 2021 and that it conducts activities in cooperation with the General Directorate of Promotion and the TGA. Stating that 76 provincial councils were established in 2021 within the framework of the program, Dr Yağcı added, “Also in 2021, Provincial council meetings were held in Antalya, Isparta, Erzurum, Kars, Malatya, Van, Kütahya, Muğla, Sivas, Düzce, Bolu, Giresun, Gümüşhane, Ordu, Rize and Balıkesir, as well as in the Çanakkale, Edirne, Kırklareli, Sakarya and Tekirdağ provinces.”

“In 2022, promotion and advertising activities will continue at full speed.”

Explaining that TGA will continue its advertising activities in 2022 at full speed, TGA Press Spokesperson Dr Erkan Yağcı said that advertising and promotion activities will also continue in target countries with tourism potential. He noted that, within the scope of marketing activities, effective individuals abroad have been identified according to their areas of interest in a target-oriented manner, and these individuals will be hosted in designated destinations in Türkiye, promoting a range of the historical, cultural, touristic, and artistic values in our country.