Turkish Govt invites pitches from shops for tourism account

The Turkish Tourist Office is reviewing its £3.5 million creative account in the UK with a view to making an appointment before the beginning of next year.

The move comes as the Turkish Government seeks to turn around a recent downturn in the number of visitors from the UK. The business will encompass television, poster and press advertising.

A spokesman for the Turkish Tourist Office confirmed that the Turkish Ministry of Tourism will see proposals from between eight and ten advertising agencies. Those agencies that express an interest in pitching will be required to fly to Ankara and present ideas to the Ministry of Tourism in person.

The decision comes a year after the tourist office vowed to improve its profile within the international tourism arena, with a series of campaigns that put Istanbul at the forefront of its marketing activity.

The incumbent agency, Bygraves Bushell Valladares & Sheldon, which has held the account for the past three years, has confirmed that it will be pitching. The Turkish Tourist Office also works with DDF International.

In a recent press conference, Turkey's tourism minister, Mustafa Tasar, claimed his ministry expected 13 million tourists this year, generating about $13 billion. In the first seven months of 2002, 6.9 million visited Turkey, 522,000 of whom were from the UK.

A report from the World Travel and Tourism Council named Turkey as first in a list of countries where tourism is expected to rise rapidly.

The move follows the Cyprus Tourism Organisation's decision to review its £6 million pan-European advertising account earlier this month in a bid to encourage more families to the island and to deter clubbers.

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