Oya Narin

Dear Members,

On February 20, 2021, we lost esteemed figures from our country's tourism, including the former Vice President of the Turkey Tourism Investors Association, and a prominent figure in the sector, Mr. Yılmaz Türkeri. Additionally, on June 3, 2021, we bid farewell to our Vice President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Tura Tourism, Mr. Erkunt Öner. I remember our cherished elders with reverence, gratitude, and fondness.

As the Board of Directors of TTYD, we have navigated through the unprecedented challenges in our sector over the past two years, including the pandemic, as well as natural disasters like floods and fires, with the special support, experience, and foresight of each one of you. We believe that interest in both resort tourism and city tourism, especially in Istanbul, will increase in 2022 and beyond, and that tourism investments in Turkey will regain momentum. However, we are saddened by the direction of the ongoing conflicts among our neighboring states, which constitute our largest first and third markets.

Our esteemed tourism investor members, who shape Turkish tourism and hold a significant position in global tourism, have invested a total of $50 billion in the sector and employ approximately 130,000 personnel. TTYD, as the voluntary and independent representative organization of Turkish tourism, has been producing on-site and effective solutions for the development of Turkish tourism since its establishment in 1988, benefiting from the accumulated knowledge and the strength derived from the organizations represented by its members. In this context, since assuming office in 2017, we have adopted a multi-stakeholder communication strategy with institutions such as the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Presidency, the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labor and Social Security, and the Ministry of Environment.

In 2021, amidst the pandemic, we continued to work, to the extent permitted by the pandemic, on shaping policies that guide the tourism sector, just as we did in 2020. Within this framework, we held high-level meetings with public institutions to share our views on all critical issues, supported the information of our members and the public, and worked to plan and promote the sustainability and transformation of the tourism sector post-pandemic. Given that strengthening the financial structure of the sector is crucial to ensuring its economic integrity, our demands during this extraordinary period have included the extension of short-time work allowances and free cash support programs, the deferral of the sector's public obligations, the extension of support for business capital, and the reduction of VAT, as well as the restructuring of tax and social security premium debts.

Our efforts to generate more resources for our sector are ongoing. In this regard, we see that the implementation of our "Tourism Transformation Scenarios Report," launched in 2020, has become even more crucial. The changes in accommodation trends over the past two years of the pandemic have once again proven the validity of our claims in the report. In this context, we conduct analytical studies and convey them to the most authoritative bodies to increase the attractiveness of the sector for domestic and foreign financial resources by urgently implementing the "Tourism Residence Accommodation" model by transforming part of the existing bed capacity, which will also meet the structural transformation needs of the tourism sector. Especially, the creation of legislation for the construction of tourism residences will support the transformation of our coastline and enable our country to make leaps in tourism. This system will attract tourism residence demand worldwide to the Turkish Riviera, thereby increasing direct foreign capital inflows.

In 2022, with your and our institution's 33 years of accumulated knowledge, we will continue our efforts in parallel with the objectives of TTYD to contribute to the formulation of policies for the economic and social development of our country. We believe that collaboration, solidarity, and acting together with all our members and stakeholders in this direction are more valuable than ever. While we expect our tourism sector to return to its normal course this year, we find ourselves facing another crisis. Our tourism sector, which has been struggling with ongoing problems since 2015, suffered even greater revenue losses in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, achieving only $37 billion in revenue instead of the targeted $85 billion for these two years. We anticipate that 2022 will follow a similar path to 2021 in terms of numbers. Due to the pandemic and the subsequent Ukraine-Russia War, we hope for renewed and exclusively targeted support for our sector. During this period, we are conducting efforts to maintain existing markets and create alternative markets, and we share these efforts effectively with all our stakeholders.

Hoping for a swift resolution to this process, we believe that with targeted promotional activities, we can attract the world's attention to our country in the coming period.

With these feelings and thoughts, I sincerely thank the members of the Board of Directors who accompany us with their experiences and guide our work, our valuable members who have never hesitated to support us at every step, our Secretary-General and the Secretariat staff, and our advisors.

Warm regards,

P. Oya Narin
President of TTYD