In İIzmir, which exceeded the 2 million domestic and foreign tourists target set for 2022 in the zmir Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, prepared in partnership with the İIzmir Metropolitan Municipality, Izmir Development Agency and Izmir Foundation, all eyes were turned to 2023. Izmir tourism is moving step by step towards its annual target of 4 million tourists in 2024.
According to the data announced by the Izmir Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, foreign tourist interest in Izmir continues in the first 5 months of 2023. The year-end target for the number of foreign tourists, which increased by 15 percent compared to the previous year, was also updated. Stating that the main motivation after the pandemic is to heal the wounds of the industry, Mayor Tunç Soyer announced his year-end goal: “Our goal, together with the tourism industry stakeholders, is to maintain this increasing trend until the end of the year. We became the lifeblood of the sector in 2022 with the common mind approach in Izmir tourism. Now is the time to get on top of that. We have high expectations for 2023. Our goal is to host 4 million tourists in 2024, as we planned.”
Domestic tourists are also increasing
In the first 5 months of 2023, which covers the months of January-May, there was a great increase in the number of domestic tourists. While an increase of 46% compared to the same period of the previous year is reflected in the data, it is predicted that this number will increase in June. Underlining that they have reached unprecedented numbers in Izmir's history, but that this is not enough, Mayor Tunç Soyer continued his words as follows: “We know that Izmir's potential is much more than that. For this, we have declared a great tourism mobilization for 4 years and we are reaping the fruits of it despite the pandemic. As part of this mobilization, we enabled cruise ships to come to Izmir after 6 years. We opened many tourism offices and created Turkey's first digital tourism infrastructure for Izmir. Through the Visit Izmir mobile application, we offer information about more than 2,800 tourism destinations to local and foreign tourists coming to Izmir completely free of charge. The tourism strategy we published in 2020 is the constitution of our city's tourism and we are implementing this constitution step by step.”
Tourism strategy was prepared
Izmir's 2020-2024 Tourism Strategy was prepared with the cooperation of all tourism sector stakeholders of the city and with the coordination of the Izmir Foundation, of which İzmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer is the Chairman of the Board. Within the scope of this strategy, Mayor Tunç Soyer announced the tourism target of Izmir as 4 million tourists. In 2022, breaking the all-time record, Izmir hosted a total of 2 million 153 thousand 881 tourists, consisting of 1 million 463 thousand 380 foreign and 690 thousand 501 domestic tourists.
Ships brought back, tourism offices opened
After the July 15 coup attempt, Turkish ports were removed from cruise routes. As a result of the international contacts of Izmir Metropolitan Municipality Mayor Tunç Soyer and the joint ventures of Izmir Chamber of Commerce, Chamber of Shipping, TURSAB and Izmir Foundation, the first cruise ship anchored in Izmir Bay last year after a break of 6-years. As of 2022 and the first 6 months of 2023, a total of 38 ships were hosted at Alsancak Port with 55,182 passengers.
Routes connecting the city center to the port, especially Kemeraltı, are introduced at the tourism information office opened at the port last year. In the office where wireless internet service, maps and promotional brochures are presented, the personnel of the Metropolitan Municipality Tourism Branch Directorate and the Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate continue to welcome the tourists.
Izmir joined the “Global Sustainable Tourism Council”
In line with the Izmir Tourism Strategy and Action Plan, Izmir, which demonstrates an understanding that is compatible with nature, supports alternative tourism types, and protects its natural and cultural heritage, is also increasing its visibility in international networks. Thanks to its work in the field of sustainable tourism, Izmir became a member of the "Global Sustainable Tourism Council", known as the GSTC Criteria, which sets global sustainability standards for destinations.