Turkey expected the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country to recover this year under the Belt and Road Initiative amid policies to encourage investment and cultural exchange, experts said.
Sabri Tunc Angili, Council General of Turkey in Shanghai, said the Turkish government and people both hope to enhance connection with China, especially in the field of tourism.
He said efforts are being made to lift Chinese language skills of tourist industry practitioners in Turkey, improve services for Chinese tourist agencies, and attract more Chinese investment into the country.
He said Chinese companies have invested a total of US$2 billion into Turkey so far, of which 80 percent was recorded after Chinese President Xi Jinping put forward the Belt and Road Initiative in 2013.
Gabriel Wong, PwC Belt and Road Leader and China Corporate Finance Head, said investment opportunities are emerging along the Belt and Road beyond infrastructure construction.
“As the population expand and household income increases along the Belt and Road, urbanization will drive demand for telecommunication, logistics, retail, and medical services,” said Wong. “We expect to see strong investment into these areas in the future.”
Chinese companies are helping building high-speed railway network in Turkey, and greater cooperation is envisioned in clean energy and e-commerce areas.
Angili also said the number of Chinese tourists visiting Turkey is expected to rise along with greater economic links between the two countries.
Official data showed 200,000 Chinese tourists visited Turkey in 2017.
Chinese and Turkish governments decided in 2016 to make this year the Turkey Tourism Year to boost cultural exchange between the two countries.