Turkish tourism board corners award

The World Travel Awards 2012 has rated the Turkish Ministry of Culture & Tourism as Europe’s ‘Leading Tourist Board.’

The awards acknowledged the quality of various tourist facilities in the country. For example, the award for Europe’s Leading Luxury Hotel was bagged by the Mardan Palace, Antalya and the Cornelia Diamond Golf Resort & Spa in Belek was awarded with Europe’s Leading Luxury Resort award. Angel’s Peninsula, Marmaris, bagged Europe’s Leading New Luxury Hotel award.

Over the years, Turkey has developed into a major tourist destination and is now ranked sixth in terms of the number of foreign arrivals. That foreign arrivals figure was 31.4 million in 2011, of which 2.58 million were from the UK. The figure for 2011 recorded a 50 percent increase compared to the previous five years.

Cities in Turkey also claimed various honours after being rated by international travellers. While the Turkish city of Istanbul was voted ‘Destination of the Year’ by readers of Food and Travel magazine, the resort town of Belek was named ‘Best Golf Destination’ at the Golf Journal Travel Awards. The TripAdvisor 2012 Choice Destination Awards rated Istanbul as the fourth best destination in Europe, and seventh best destination in the world.

Turkey, which enjoys universal appeal as a holiday destination, is also well regarded for its culture, culinary delights, wonderful climate, natural beauty and warm hospitality. The nation also hosts two Wonders of the Ancient World, 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 352 Blue Flag beaches and 19 Blue Flag Marinas.

Commenting on the recent distinction, Turkey’s minister for Culture & Tourism said, ‘We are thrilled to have won this prestigious travel award during a year which has seen a number of awards for Turkey and unprecedented press coverage. It is also a year in which Istanbul is the European Capital of Sport and when the city became one of three short listed cities for the 2020 Olympics.’