Turkey tourism booms as Arabs are attracted by new law

Turkey's tourist industry is booming as Arabs are attracted by the country's recently approved investment law.

The bill, which allows visitors from the Middle East to buy Turkish property for the first time, was announced last month. The news came just as visitors from Qatar doubled in the first four months of 2012, according to official government figures. Visitors from the UAE also surged by 86 per cent compared to 2011.

The Turkish Tourism and Culture office's attaché commented: "We have good relationships with those countries," he said. "The shopping is popular and there's been a response to the Arab Spring. Lots of people who would have gone to Egypt, Syria and Libya have gone somewhere else."

"We have the same culture and religion, so they do not feel like strangers in Turkey. Nobody has a prejudice about them. We see the Arabs as friends."

Source: OPP