Türkiye stands to gain from China's Spring Festival consumption boom, experts say

(Xinhua) 10:51, January 31, 2023

People enter the Kagithane station of a new metro line connecting central Istanbul and the city's new international airport in Istanbul, Türkiye, Jan. 22, 2023. (Xinhua/Shadati)

ISTANBUL, Jan. 31 (Xinhua) -- Widespread consumption during the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival, reflects a dynamic Chinese economy and could rub off on Türkiye in the coming year, experts and tourism industry professionals here have said.

Mustafa Sonmez, a Turkish economist and writer, said the festival brought about a robust economic rebound. Such dynamism would "find a place in the Chinese economy, China's domestic market, and the world economy," and could make its way to Türkiye in 2023.

Robust tourism activities and an increase in consumption from the holiday season would positively affect the world economy, Baris Doster, a scholar at the Istanbul-based Marmara University, said.

Tourists visit Cappadocia region in Türkiye on Jan. 1, 2023. (Photo by Mustafa Kaya/Xinhua)

After China optimized its COVID-19 responses on Jan. 8, easing international travel, Türkiye started to see more Chinese tourists arriving, especially during the Spring Festival.

"I wish all Chinese people a year of abundance, prosperity, peace, and happiness," Hasan Eker, vice president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

Irfan Karsli, head of the Istanbul-based Ligarba Travel Agency, said that tourism representatives looks forward to the arrival of Chinese tourists.

After hosting over 420,000 Chinese tourists in 2019, according to official data, Türkiye had initially projected to attract nearly one million in 2020, but such hopes were dashed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

To celebrate the Lunar New Year, TJ Joulak, general manager of the Shangri-La Bosphorus, decorated the hotel with a sea of red lanterns, a giant wish tree and various rabbit figures of all sizes.

Sevgi Uzgen, a history teacher, visited the hotel to enjoy the New Year decorations. "I wish the year of the Rabbit could bring abundance and luck to people," Uzgen told Xinhua after taking several photos of her mother next to a rabbit statue.

"Rabbit is an adorable animal," said Betul Pakis, a designer in charge of the hotel decorations. "I hope it will bring peace to the whole world."

(Web editor: Zhang Kaiwei, Liang Jun)


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