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Bodrum investments reach new high as centre aims to be Turkey's Davos

New investments in the popular tourist town of Bodrum have reached $10 billion, says its mayor.

Mayor Ahmet Aras has reported that investments in the southwestern peninsula have hit a new peak. This was not only private sector investments, but government spending too.

“This includes all investments from infrastructure to tourism, hotels to hospitals, gyms to schools,” he said. 

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Despite the uncertainty of the last few months, confidence in the region's potential was high, he said.

“Currently, there is a very attractive investment environment in Bodrum especially in the fields of tourism, maritime, transportation, technology, sports, renewable energy and agriculture.” 

While tourism and services are the peninsula's most important source of income, diversification into other areas was welcome, Aras said.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the resort town lost three-quarters of its tourism income last year.

However, the tourist sector is expected to recover starting from April, the traditional beginning of the high season, and some European visitors were already beginning to arrive. 

“We attach great importance to attract Russian and Ukrainian tourists,” he said.

There were initiatives underway to diversify Bodrum's tourist industry, including a bid to expand into agricultural and outdoor tourism - a fitting move for our socially distanced times, and a nod to the many open-air attractions in the area, including farms.

The town would also be promoting its potential for meetings and conferences, aiming to attract more foreign companies.

“We are determined to make Bodrum the Davos of Turkey," he said, referring to the Swiss ski resort with a conference centre that hosts the World Economic Forum each year.

Aras said the municipality is working to increase the number of tourists and tourism income.

“We are seeking 2.5 million foreign tourists and a tourism revenue of $5 billion this year by diversifying the sector to gastronomy, agriculture, health, nature, sports and congresses," he said.

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