THY Aims to Attract More Asian Tourists
Turkish Airlines is embarking on a strategic mission to attract a greater number of tourists from ten key Asian countries. The primary objective is to bolster tourism revenues for Türkiye (Turkey).
Ahmet Bolat, Chairman of the Board and Executive Committee of Turkish Airlines, outlined the airline's plans during a recent announcement.
Understanding Asian Tourists' Preferences
Cultural Tourism Focus
Turkish Airlines recognizes that tourists from South Korea, Japan, and China have unique preferences, primarily leaning towards cultural tourism. Understanding and catering to these interests is pivotal for the success of this initiative.
Shifting the Transit Passenger Paradigm
Direct Tourism Encouragement
One significant challenge identified by Bolat is the prevalence of transit passengers on Turkish Airlines flights. These passengers often return to their home countries after visiting Europe, contributing minimally to the Turkish tourism industry. Bolat envisions shifting this paradigm towards more direct tourism.
High Spending Potential
Big Spenders from the Far East
Tourists from Far East countries, such as South Korea, Japan, and China, are renowned for their high spending habits. On average, these tourists spend over $3,000 during their visits to Türkiye, presenting a lucrative opportunity for the Turkish tourism sector.
Target Markets and Ambitious Goals
10 Key Countries
Turkish Airlines has identified ten countries as their target markets for this initiative, including Singapore, South Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Indonesia.
Additionally, the airline is eyeing the United States, Canada, and Australia for potential tourist influx. The ambitious goal is to attract at least one million tourists from each of these ten nations. Bolat envisions hosting a total of 10 million tourists from these countries, generating an impressive $30 billion in tourism revenues.
Addressing Challenges and Past Trends
Bolat acknowledges certain challenges, such as declining numbers of Korean and Japanese tourists visiting Türkiye in recent years. Proactive strategies are essential to revitalize tourism from these regions.
Turkish Airlines' Expanding Reach
Turkish Airlines is well-equipped to execute this strategy, with a vast network spanning 129 countries across five continents. The airline operates a fleet of 421 jets from its hub in Istanbul and plans to launch flights to Australia starting from December.
Contribution to Service Exports
Service Export Leader
Turkish Airlines significantly contributes to Turkey's service exports. It holds the position of being the largest service exporting company in Turkey, with service export revenues totaling $15.5 billion. The airline has set an ambitious target of achieving $18 billion in service exports for the current year.
Asian Operations and Revenue
In the first quarter of 2023, Turkish Airlines reported impressive financial results. Approximately 25 percent of its revenues during this period came from operations in the Far East.
Moreover, the Far East region accounted for 14 percent of all passengers on the airline's international routes, underscoring the significance of this market segment in their growth.
Turkish Airlines is determined to leverage its extensive network and strategic initiatives to tap into the immense potential of Asian tourism and significantly boost Turkey's tourism revenues in the years to come.