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EMITT 2016: ‘Tourism Has a Healing Effect in International Relations’

Turkey's Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mahir Unai.

Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mahir Unai.

“Tourism has a healing effect in international relations”, Turkey’s Minister of Culture and Tourism, Mahir Unai, said during his speech at the opening ceremony of the East Mediterranean Tourism and Travel Exhibition – EMITT on Thursday at the Tuyap Fair and Congress Center in Istanbul.

While addressing challenges in Turkey this year, Mr Unai underlined that any crisis can be healed through tourism and international relations.

“However, countries should not use tourism as a means of sanctions in the international arena”, he added.

The Turkish tourism minister stressed that terrorism is not the problem of only one country as it is a global problem.

“All countries should assume a healing role in this fight”, he said stressing that terrorism is a challenge for freedom to travel.

Turkey’s $30 billion-per-year tourism industry to suffer a setback this year following the recent January 12 bombing in Istanbul that took the lives of 10 tourists.

Mr Unai added that the January 12 incident should not be represented as something going on in the whole country.

“Countries should not use terrorism to gain leverage for tourism competitiveness. It is not ethical and not acceptable.”

In a positive tone, while closing his speech, the minister said “Turkey has the ability to solve problems”.

Celebrating its 20th year, EMITT is recognized as one of the top five tourism exhibitions in the world.

EMITT 2016 will run until January 31.

The Greek Travel Pages (GTP) is a media partner to EMITT 2016.

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