Recently, the President of Turkey Recep Tayap Erdogan visited Nigeria and invited President Buhari to Turkey for the Turkey African Conference in December.
This is part of Turkey’s effort to develop a stronger relationship with Africa and Nigeria. The city of Bodrum wants to take advantage of this special relationship with Nigeria to drive its tourism.
The Mayor of the city of Bodrum, Ahmet Aras, hosted a Nigerian lead team invited for exploratory meetings led by Abuja based tour operator Cecile Doumbe of CMD Tours.
The team included Ambassador Ikechi Uko a travel expert and Adebayo Ajayi the Travel Sultan of Abay Tours.
According to the Mayor of Bodrum, “Turkey has everything the Nigerian traveller wants. We have amazing shopping of top quality materials; we have wonderful destinations of which Bodrum is the best.
The historical legends of Turkey are unparalleled for both Christians and Moslems. Anything you want we have more. We want you to come and enjoy our Mediterranean culture within Asia.
Bodrum is home to many ancient civilizations of Greece and the Island of Rhodes. We have the largest underwater museum in the world. AirBnB started from Bodrum over 50 years ago.
We had no hotels then and we gave our houses for bed and breakfast. But today we have the most luxurious vacations in Europe. I will be coming to Nigeria to market Bodrum and I invite Nigerians to the Mediterranean Tourism Expo in Bodrum taking place in October.”
Earlier the exploratory team who were invited by Skywings Istanbul were hosted to a city tour of Istanbul the city of two continents visiting the European and the Asian sides of Istanbul with stops at the world famous Hagia Sophia of Constantinople.
At a meeting with the Bodrum Hoteliers Association, the President Omer F. Dengiz told them that Bodrum has a Population of one Hundred and Thirty thousand Citizens (130,000) but receives over 1.3 million tourists every year mainly from Britain and Germany.
Bodrum has over 1000 hotels with about 150,000 rooms and more than 300,000 beds of cost between $50 to $500. There are boutique hotels and luxury collections. Bodrum has been described as unique, chic and special by tourists who troop there from April to October every year.
After facility visits and city tour of Bodrum, which included visits to the castle and the museum of Halicarnisus a former ancient wonder of the world the team departed for Antalya. Antalya is the town where Paul the Apostle started his missionary journey in the Bible. Stop overs at Cappadocia completed the tour.
The team from Turkey are expected in Nigeria for a series of road shows to introduce Turkey to Nigerian tour operators and professionals. A series of famtrips are also planned to Turkey in the course of the year.
The Mayor of Bodrum Presented a book on Ataturk the founder of modern Turkey to the Nigerians. In her response, Team Leader MsDoumbe told them that Nigerians are great travelers and are looking for new destinations and Turkey is perfect. She introduced the team as experts to deliver the mandate desired by the Mayor.