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Tourism, A Sample Based on Managing Tourism Activity

Author: Jamie Walker

At: July 20, 2023

1. Introduction and Context

Istanbul is the most famous city in Turkey that is formerly known as Byzantium and Constantinople. Istanbul is a massively populous economic, cultural and historic centre in Turkey (Alpkokin et al., 2016, p.70). The author further mentioned that Istanbul is one of the largest cities of the world’s population. Moreover, Istanbul ranks as the fifteenth largest city in Europe. According to the study by Akgün et al. (2020), Istanbul is a famous tourist attraction due to its beautiful places, such as starting the day at Sultanahmet Square, shopping at the Grand Bazaar, taking in panoramas from Camlica Hill and Walking the Theodosian Walls. Moreover, due to COVID-19,  currently, the Centers for disease control and Prevention has issued a level 3 travel health notice for Turkey. Therefore, Turkey has resumed most transportation options, such as reopening borders and airport operations and business operations. On the other hand, as stated by ÇAKIR (2018), the UK FCO has declared that Ankara and Istanbul can be considered safe in comparison to the other cities that are at greater risk for terrorist attack. However, it also warns that, as in other major cities, precautions should be taken to avoid the chances of being caught up in civil unrest or a terrorist attack.

Furthermore, the most defining aspect of Istanbul is the Bosporus Strait, which is the heart of tourist majority. Bosporus Strait divides the European and Asian sides of the city. Visitors can go on a public rented boat to experience some of the most awe-inspiring sight views of the metropolis. As per the study of Cetin et al. (2017, p.17), Istanbul is one of the top 10 cities in the world that is most visited. The records have been broken by accommodating 13.4 million tourists in 2018, which is a result of an increase of about 24%. Moreover, Istanbul is a huge city in Turkey that is world-famous for its rich culture and history, magnificent structures, stunning scenery and features of plethora.

On the other hand, Istanbul is a protuberant core of commerce and trade. The study of Karayilan and Cetin (2016) mentioned that the key stakeholders in the tourism of Istanbul are residents, employees, business associations and local companies. The role of stakeholders includes visiting attractions, spending money and promoting the attractions through social media and word of mouth. However, Turkish democracy foundation plays a very important role in the tourism sector of Istanbul as they facilitate development and create awareness among the people regarding tourism assets and resources. On the other hand, Delvet Malzeme Ofisi Misafirhanesi, DMO of Turkey, has also played a major role by creating a master management plan and a marketing strategy for the destination Istanbul.

2. Challenges and problems facing the destination

Concerning the study of Turner and Johnson (2017), the explosion in Istanbul on the 12th of January has adversely affected the inbound flow to Turkey on the short-to-medium term. Thus, this explosion had reduced tourism as many tourists were unwilling to visit Istanbul due to the alarming situation. As the explosion created many losses to the residents and the tourist. The study of van Leeuwen and Sjerps (2016, p.10) stated that Istanbul has always been facing water scarcity problems in its history because of its distant location from drinking water resources.

 Istanbul is a beautiful place to visit; however, an increase in tourism raises the need for water, which is becoming scarce with its excessive usage (Kladou and Mavragani, 2016, p.95). Moreover, Istanbul has recorded the lowest rainfall being recorded in the last 50 years. According to the study of Islar and Boda (2014), the availability of sufficient fresh and clean water is essential for economic, health, social well-being and development for every city. Gumusay, Koseoglu and Bakirman (2016, p.667) stated that Istanbul’s increasing demand as a tourist attraction has been falling due to the groundwater exhaustion, worsening of water eminence and saltwater interruption from climate change and pollution.

Furthermore, Erbil (2017) stated that the Master Plan of Istanbul, known as the “Constitution of Istanbul”, introduced by Kadir Topbas, the Mayor of Istanbul, initially received severe denigration, which consists of lawsuits by local non-governmental bodies. Moreover, Kadir Topbas stresses the safety of water basins and forests was highly appreciated in the north by the same local non-governmental bodies. However, regardless of this consensus, the government of AKP was the first to disrupt the plan. In addition, the AKP declared the formation of numerous mega-projects in 2011, targeting to resolve the long-standing difficulties of Istanbul such as transportation and traffic. In light of the study of Balkan and Tumen (2016, p.670), Istanbul has large rates of immigration, and this has consequently raised an issue of scarce resources and congestion. On the other hand, the lakes have conservation zones around them to save the quality of water, with boundaries on industrial and construction activity.

 As per the study of Kok and Benli (2017, p.875), policies of sustainable development in Turkey are already integrated within several laws, guidelines, policy documents, legislatures and action plans in a variation of sectors and policy grounds. The author further stated that the purpose of development is to permanently enhance people’s well-being and improve living standards by establishing a peaceful and safe living environment by strengthening fundamental freedoms and rights.

 In the 1960s, Antalya, another famous city of Turkey, was one of the designated main concern districts according to the instructions of the expansion plans to distillate on the regions with the maximum capability to fascinate tourists and to get short-term outcomes. Moreover, the study of Oner, Durmaz-Drinkwater and Grant (2020, p.10) mentioned that since the 1980s, lodging amenities in several classes have occupied the city, but still, there are unwanted effects of tourism on the cultural tradition, natural and social building have begun to become apparent. However, the sector of tourism donates immensely to the cultural, social and economic development of both developing and developed economies.

On the other hand, there are several stakeholders, including governmental and non-governmental bodies, that are facilitating the sector to boost tourism activities. This consequently has strengthened its economy meanwhile, has become the source of enhancing the importance of Turkey in geographical borders (Kaya and Koc 2019, p.135). The study of Ucal, Haug and Bilgin (2016, p.1035) stated that Istanbul has both the highest income inequality and personal wealth in Turkey. Similarly, the poorest cities of Turkey have very high income inequality by comparison with Istanbul.

As Istanbul has high costs of rent for residential buildings and as well as for commercial purposes. Such aspects are the main causes of the decreasing role of industrial activity in Istanbul. Özoǧlu Gür and Gümüs (2016, p.25) stated that the rapid expansion in Istanbul is also one of the biggest reasons for ecological poverty in the form of lost forest areas. Moreover, traffic congestion has been a significant problem in every area of Istanbul due to the increasing economic activity, which resulted in several motor vehicles. This has occurred due to inadequate organisation and investment in conveyance to satisfy the demand for such rapid growth.

The study of Kontogeorgopoulos (2017, p.5) mentioned that immersion entails learning a few key expressions in the local language, which is also an important way to show respect, connect with locals, and immerse. As per the study of Suni and Pesonen (2019, p.185), consumptive wildlife tourism considers a form of relaxation travel and is mainly used for the purpose of hunting, fishing for sports, and shooting animal games. Ecotourism has a direct impact on the environment as a destination’s popularity raises, possessions most of the time become overstretched and natural fascinations suffer from the running riot. Similarly, sustainable tourism destination development has fascinated substantial courtesy, especially about the beneficial and undesirable influences of tourism on destination groups and capitals.

Akkemik and Göksal (2014, p.480) mentioned that agglomeration of activities such as industrial and economic occurs in a city because of countless causes, which includes equipment amalgamating, labour and technical abilities access. Besides, industries gain the benefits of sharing, retrieving exceptional inputs, inseparable goods, and weakening the hazard of upfront investment.

3. Existing Policies and Strategies

Istanbul has invested in tourism to promote its ‘urban’ resources. As a result, major changes have been made to the tourism sector. The importance of city attractions has improved with attempts to ensure a change in tourism in Turkey and with new initiatives to expand the tourism season to the full year. These trends have greatly raised the aspirations of Turkish tourism in Istanbul. Istanbul’s primary aim is to look after its historical, cultural and natural capital and to give the region a global reputation. As a global city, Istanbul’s tourism potential needs to be reinforced and enhanced (Duman and Tosun, 2010). In Turkey, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has a responsibility for the execution of policies and plans relating to tourism, established in 2003 with Law No. 4848 on the Organisation of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism (Gezici and Kerimoglu, 2010).

 According to the study of Paulauskaite et al. (2017, p.622), authenticity in tourism has great importance as authenticity is becoming a progressively valuable service in the industry of tourism. Furthermore, tourists have started to pursue to engross themselves in local cultures and environments. Such as tourist can participate in indigenous tourism activities such as dances, guided tours and traditional carnivals. As per the study of de Souza Bispo (2016, p.175), experience in tourism is a set of activities in which individuals involve on their private terms, which includes enjoyable and remarkable places. Moreover, it involves allowing each tourist to construct her or his own travel experiences so that these satisfy a wider range of personal needs. In light of the study of Butcher and Smith (2015), ethical tourism involves keeping in mind the effects of individual movements as a traveller on local communal and on the environment. Furthermore, geared towards customers as well as the industry, ethical tourism’s purpose is to avoid involvement in activities that entails undesirable ethical concerns. Therefore, ethical tourism includes volunteerism, immersion, saying no to plastic, transportation and seeking ethical animal encounters

 Tourism strategy in Turkey involves: good propaganda, the setting up of touristic associations, the creation of a City and City Tourism Promotion Council, expanded tourism residence, easy loans to the tourist centre, modifications of laws and regulations that discouraged the development of tourism, the organisation of festivals in particular locations and on multiple occasions, preparation for tourist industry operators and tourism operators (Altunel and Erkurt, 2015). In the Policy Measures portion, the Ministry of Tourism and Promotion shall include an agency that will continue tourism operations only, encouraging Turkey through that Ministry, paying attention to environmental protection and food control in order to boost tourism activities, increasing tourism credits, setting up an education and training centre, assessing target areas (Aytuğ and Mikaeili, 2017).

Under the heading of tourism and promotion, 4 pages were dedicated to tourism in the 8th FYDP, which was prepared for the years 2001-2005. Under the headings of priorities, values and policies, it was stressed that tourism should be encouraged in all areas and future regions, that tourism investments should be made with a protective and evolving attitude to the environmental, historical and social climate, that tourism marketing should be given priority and that absolute quality should not be invested in the business (Yüksel, Dağdeviren and Alicioğlu, 2018, p.381). Implementation of the Tourism Sector Master Plan [TUSAP], research into new markets beyond European countries in the world, funding for small-scale businesses, development of sustainable tourism in ecologically fragile national parks and development of the tourism industry in Turkey, and promotion of ecotourism are among the other policies were outlined in the 8th Plan (Polat and Aydınlı, 2017).

While political tourism, winter tourism, cruise tourism, golf tourism and cultural tourism are highlighted as alternate forms of tourism, it is argued that they do not have adequate infrastructure facilities. Tourism Development Plan and Tourism Strategy of Turkey-2023 stressed that air travel was necessary for time and safety (Aytuğ and Mikaeili, 2017). Besides our distance to foreign tourism markets and the topography of our region, air travel is the best option. As a result of these developments, tourism operations would be expanded to four seasons during the year, and visitors will have the ability to spend more time in the region. They will both have positive effects on the tourism sector. In order to fulfil these plans, air transport must be extended to any city in Turkey (Yüksel, Dağdeviren and Alicioğlu, 2018, p.377).

The simplicity of this kind of travel may also help travellers get used to it and convert it into a common mode of transport compared to others (Ozturk and Van Niekerk, 2014, p.194). The report indicated that the reconstruction and enhancement of existing airports must be carried out. In addition, steps to make new airports possible for passengers to visit more destinations in a shorter period, which would lead to more promotions. Inactive airports are another particular problem; these areas need to be repaired and can then be reused again. Turkey’s promotion policies have not been given too much focus in the first five-year development plans, particularly tourism and promotion, in the Five-year Tourism Development Plan and Tourism Strategy of Turkey-2023 (Polat and Aydınlı, 2017, p.3421)

These schemes centred on the number of tourist arrivals, the amount of tourism sales and the bed space targets after certain sentences were added for the next five years. More improvement in local and city-wide tourism growth and management can be accomplished by implementing clear tourism strategies and addressing tourism creation and impacts as part of other land use and environmental problems within planning plans. A holistic tourism management framework is called for to promote the production and execution of the tourism policy through the distribution and tracking of funds, land use regulations and the review of public and private sector tourism activities. Furthermore, Istanbul has been working effectively on 2030 sustainable development goals in order to end poverty and protect its economy so that the residents of Istanbul and the tourist can enjoy peace and prosperity by 2030.

The planning mechanism should facilitate complementarity and coexistence of economic activities rather than promote sectorial differentiation and the growth of a single sector. Tourism should be incorporated into the master plan and overall strategy for the growth of the city. This is often referred to in the literature as inclusive planning. Several scholars have highlighted the importance of not merely singling out tourism for growth (Polat and Aydınlı, 2017; Ozturk and Van Niekerk, 2014, p.195). Rather, it should be designed in accordance with the wider growth priorities of the region; tourism should be an aspect of broader regional development planning.

4. Future-proofing the destination

The tourism industry growth in Turkey is attributed to infrastructure developments in terms of improving the duration of stay, the broader array of visited locations and higher tourist spending (Polat and Aydınlı, 2017). This would be especially relevant for the rising number of individual tourists who arrange their own routes. Improved statistical evidence is required. Methods need to be introduced or established to determine with fair precision how many travellers to the republics stay overnight and how long they stay in unregistered accommodation. More specific information is also required on the geographic distribution and spending of tourism, on seasonality and on the attitudes and intentions of visitors (Yüksel, Dağdeviren and Alicioğlu, 2018).

The study of Ružić and Amidžić (2017, p.80) mentioned that tourism has the likelihood to contribute indirectly or directly to the major sustainable goals and objectives. In addition, sustainable tourism is positioned firmly in the 2030 Agenda. Moreover, this Agenda requires a clear implementation framework, investment in technology, adequate financing, human resource and infrastructure. With respect to the study of Giampiccoli, Lee and Nauright (2015, p.235) stated that tourism is adequately positioned to raise economic development and growth at all levels and is a basis of provision for income through the creation of jobs. Similarly, sustainable tourism development and its inspiration at the community level can be associated with poverty reduction goals at the national level. Thus, this comprises endorsing entrepreneurship and small businesses and endowing less preferred groups, especially women and youth.

Furthermore, the most influential issues of the Mediterranean and Egean coast of Turkey are the excessive agglomeration, tourism and urbanism, the lack of infrastructure. Alternative tourism attractiveness and areas, on the other hand, are not sufficiently measured (Polat and Aydınlı, 2017, p.3424). In this sense, there is a need to promote alternative tourism and also to re-plan coastal tourism. In this background, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism carries out a number of studies. Turkey’s tourism policy proposes long-term plans for tourism planning, investment, organisation, domestic tourism, research and growth, facilities, transport, infrastructure development, promotion and marketing, education, urban branding, diversification of tourism, and renovation of existing tourist sites and destinations.

Currently, Turkey plans to introduce its virus-free, safe tourism policy to all target markets in order to offer a lifeline for the pandemic-hit industry after a series of promising trends, including the latest lifting of the travel ban by Germany (Uchisar Cappadocia, 2020). The country has implemented a “Health Tourism Certification Program” organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, along with many other relevant ministries, including the Ministry of Health, and has taken a variety of steps in airports, transport services, hotels and other tourist establishments.

5. Conclusion

In summary, tourism has been a significant contributor to Istanbul, both internally and externally. The tourism policies outlined in Turkey include management of destinations, effective marketing activities in the international arena, engagement of the local community as well as of the local authorities and NGOs, skilled tourism staff, responsible environmental approaches and the socio-cultural system. The policies often matter because they highlight the region in which tourism is impacted. The involvement of all parties in actions to be made at every tourist destination decreases the risk of potential disputes to a minimum. However, over the three decades, more issues have to be dealt with, and capital spending has to be identified. Turkish visitors may be more specialist stakeholders, and the authorities and related organisations need to find ways to retain numbers and allow its visitors and customers to stay longer, see more sights and invest more in longer seasons.


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