Thursday, June 5, 2014

Why Turkey Will Never Become A Tourist Destination

In 1954 one of the directors of France's tourism bureau, a Mr. Miraud, explained why Turkey would not become a tourist destination any time soon. Some highlights, or read the whole thing (in Turkish) by clicking on the image at left:

"Today for Turkey to become a tourist country is a dream. Two years earlier I went to Istanbul. It had historic and natural beauty but I only stayed two days. And I have no intention of going back. Because you can't even find a restaurant with good vegetables or a hotel with a good view.... Istanbul just has nature and history. Besides this you can't find anything.

"In Istanbul nothing remains of the legendary East... Think about it. In Paris there are plenty of places showing Eastern dances that are open every night. People who go to Istanbul expecting to see better ones will be shocked.

"To make Istanbul a tourist city if nothing else in at least some places a few legal rights must be recognized. For example in my opinion in an area including Beyoglu, Harbiye and Karakoy:
a) legal gambling
b) establishments open till dawn
c) permission for naked "variety" shows
d) all kinds of liquor freely sold
e) all hotels open to men and women
f) free exchange of all money

"Tourists want to see a lot of things with a little time and a little money. For this reason you must gather everything in the center, like Paris. You must transport the historic relics from a number of cities to Istanbul. As long as you don't give equal attention to comfort and entertainment alongside historic and natural beauty you will not be able to draw tourists to Istanbul. Even for those like me who actually visit it will remain as a beautiful film that they will watch once and move on without ever watching again."