Turkey's ambassador to India praised the relations and the “special association” between the two nations.
“Both India and Turkey share so much in common in terms of cuisine, general characteristics amongst our people, hospitality and even the language,” Ambassador Firat Sunel told a local magazine, TTJ (Travel Trade Journal), in an interview.
Sunel said 2019 was the most successful year for Turkish tourism in terms of the number of international arrivals.
In 2019, Turkey hosted over 230,000 Indian tourists, a record for India as well, he added.
The current pandemic adversely affected the tourism industry the most, Sunel said, noting: “But we hope to witness a recovery in foreign tourist arrivals for our country very soon.”
According to this year's statistics for January-July, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey reached 11.9 million, and the country is expecting to host around 25 million international visitors by the end of 2021, he said.
Highlighting Turkey’s “successful vaccination campaigns,” Sunel said: “By 2022 or 2023, we expect to reach the 2019 numbers.”
Sunel also said Turkey’s visa departments have been regularly operating since June 2020 and that “the e-visa scheme for Indian citizens is still valid.”
“Indian citizens who have a valid Schengen, UK or US visa can apply for Turkish e-visa online and obtain his/her visa within 5-10 minutes.”
Stressing that Turkey has become a hot destination for Indian weddings, Sunel added that over the past few years "there has been an increase in the number of Indian destination weddings in Turkey and also many Indian movies and videos have been shot in Turkey which has spiked interest" in travels to the country.
“These commonalities, along with so much more to see and explore, make Turkey a popular destination among Indian travelers,” he noted.