Turkey is taking historic steps toward domestic-national energy means. From 2020 onward, these steps will decrease Turkey’s external dependency in energy and will contribute to both the national income and the reduction of the current account deficit. One of the most critically important sectors to diminish the current account deficit is tourism. While we always look at the production sector and high-tech products, we should actually see that tourism contributes, more than the highest export revenue provider the automotive sector, $30-35 billion to the economy. This is why the Culture and Tourism Ministry is putting together a new road map to establish collaboration between the public and private sectors and the media. With a 12 percent share of GDP and an 8.2 percent share of employment, culture and tourism has attained power and potential in the Turkish economy. The 2023 target should bring 50 million tourists and secure $50 billion in tourism revenues. The road to achieving this target means restructuring the road map and strategy of the tourism sector as the sector that brings in the most currency income.
At this point, the ministry, the private sector and most of all the media have very important missions. More particularly, we can confirm that the cultural heritage of Turkey and the successful restructuring of museums have significantly contributed to the number of tourists. Around 35 percent of the record-breaking rise in the number of tourists coming to Turkey is due to cultural tourism. Turkey houses a cultural heritage few countries in the world have. Europe, which has recently forgotten the meaning of Turkey’s critical role in defense, energy and economy, seems to have also forgotten that Turkey is the center of world heritage. This is why we should have a strategy that drives Turkey as the center of world civilization to remind people of its contribution to European values over the past 1,000 years. We should see Republican People’s Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kılıçdaroğlu’s statement to German Focus magazine about the lack of safety in Turkey in contrast to what Wesley Sneijder said after leaving Galatasaray for Nice in France, where he told De Telegraaf that he always felt safe in Turkey and that he will never forget this experience in the country.
According to estimates by the World Tourism Organization, by 2030, the number of tourists worldwide will go up to 1.8 billion and the size of the sector will reach $7.2 trillion. It is expected that Turkey’s tourism income will amount to $140 billion. The tourism sector can be pushed to $50 billion in 2023 and $140 billion by 2030 with the media’s support to ensure more recognition. Turkey, as the sixth most frequented tourism destination in the world, after earning $35 billion in 2014 and $32 billion in 2015, lost $11 billion in 2016 because of tensions in its region. This year, on the other hand, the sector is recovering when compared to 2016, with a 17 percent rise in May and a 6 percent increase in the number of tourists in the first five months. Positioning tourism as a strategic sector for Turkey will continue to render the country an irreplaceable destination in the coming period.
8 percent growth in second quarter
Turkey’s industrial production data for June, announced on Tuesday, shows that industry continues to rise when compared to last year. Turkish industry, which grew 6.7 percent in April when compared to the same month of the previous year, reached 4.6 percent growth in production in the second quarter with 3.5 percent growth in May and 3.4 percent growth in June. This performance signals that the growth rate of our GDP might reach 8 percent in the second quarter. Even calculating the statistical margin of error, we might see a growth rate of between 6.45 percent and 7.25 percent in the second quarter. Having said that, even though industrial production rose 2.1 percent in the first quarter, growth was 5 percent. This is why a 4.6 percent hike in industrial production can easily drive growth in the second quarter to 8 percent and above.
Considering expectations that China will achieve close to 7 percent growth in the second quarter, Turkey might attain global growth success in the second quarter. For the whole of 2017, the expectation for growth in the world economy is 3 percent. The performance of Turkish exporters in the second quarter indicates that net export’s positive contribution to growth continues. U.S. international finance institution JP Morgan has increased its growth estimates for Turkey in 2017 by 0.8 points, from 3.8 to 4.6 percent. Under these circumstances, it would be meaningful to state that the Turkish economy will finish 2017 with a growth rate of 4.5 percent to 5 percent.