Friendly Turkish people highlight of travel

Updated: 2012-02-22 07:56

By Cang Wei (China Daily)

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NANJING - Overjoyed at the fantastic scenery of the Bosporus and the Blue Mosque, tourist Niu Dawei said that the unexpected enthusiasm of Turkish people was an even greater pleasure.

"If I stayed at the roadside by myself for more than five seconds, Turkish passers-by would ask me if I needed any help," said the 32-year-old, who traveled to Turkey in 2011.

"Besides revisiting Istanbul and Bursa, I'm looking forward to experiencing the exotic fairy chimneys of Cappadocia next time."

Wen Wen, a counselor assistant from the Turkish embassy in China, said that the number of Chinese tourists visiting the country surpassed 70,000 last year, up 20 percent from the year before.

In 2002, China granted Turkey approved destination status, which allowed Chinese citizens to travel to the country in tour groups.

"In Turkey, as a Eurasian country, visitors can appreciate European and Asian cultures at one time, and that makes it one of the hot tourist destinations among Chinese people," said Wen.

Jia Yin, manager of the Middle Eastern and African marketing department with China Travel Service Head Office, said that due to Turkey's well-developed tourism market and the people's hospitality, an increasing number of Chinese tourists choose to enjoy the Turkish natural scenery and cultural monuments.

However, Jia suggests that the Turkish tourism department should step up publicity to attract more Chinese visitors.

"Not too many Chinese people have knowledge about the places of interest in Turkey," said Jia.

Niu also said that Greece is his friends' first choice if they want to experience the Aegean Sea, due to their limited knowledge about Turkish tourist attractions.

"Some of my friends chose other countries but not Turkey, because they thought that the visa to go to Turkey would be very hard to get, which actually is not true."

Wen said that a Turkish visa can be obtained after five working days, and the materials needed are very simple.

"The Turkish tourism department has already launched a Chinese language version of its website and adopted weibo, the Chinese Twitter, in a bid to attract more Chinese visitors," Wen added.