Turkish Airlines have announced that they have extended their free tours of the city, now offering tours in the evenings around the Bosporus for those staying between 6 and 24 hours in transit through Istanbul Airport. Abdullah Yormaz, Tour Marketing Manager of Turkish Airlines, made the announcement.
What does the tour entail?
The new project has been dubbed, “TourIstanbul” and will collect passengers from the airport before taking them to see the natural beauty of Istanbul, understanding the history of the city before being dropping tourists back to the airport again.
Why is the tour being offered?
Yormaz explained the aim of adding the Istanbul Bosporus Strait tour to the six daily tours that are already on offer is to provide greater customer satisfaction whilst increasing the share the airline currently has in the transit of international passengers market, as well as offering promotional experiences to the tourist market in general.
Sightseeing Tours in Istanbul
Yormaz explained that Turkish Airlines started running free sightseeing tours in 2009. In 2009 there were approximately 5,000 passengers who benefited from the tour services. However, to date, the numbers are up to a huge 5,000 per month.
Yormaz went on to explain, “In 2018, we had the opportunity to introduce 67,400 passengers to the historical and touristic beauties of Istanbul.” Yormaz noted that there were passengers from 163 countries that joined the free tour of Istanbul last year alone. Passengers from the Far East, the UK, Russia and U.S. showed the most interest in the free tour.
The Bosporus tour was formed to give passengers with long connection times during their night flights something to do and experience the history and beauty that Istanbul had to offer. The tours began on May 1 and will be available to passengers all through the summer up to October 31.
Where do the tours go?
Passengers are taken to visit various places such as the Blue Mosque, the Hagia Sophia Museum, the Science and Technology Museum of Istanbul, Dolmabahce Palace and the Turkish-Islamic Arts Museum.
What is included on the tours?
Yormaz explained that Turkish Airlines provides the tours free of charge for passengers. They also supply food and the entrance to the museums for free. Yormaz stated that they are the only airline company that offers this type of service.
What passengers say about the tours
One passenger was travelling to Cairo from Sweden and joined the tour. The tour was advertised on the airline’s websites and he was also made fully aware of the tours from the officials working at Istanbul Airport, saying: “I think it’s a great program. Everyone in the world wants to see Turkey and Istanbul. Every year, many people from all over the world come to this country. At the same time, Istanbul has the largest airport in the world. It is so nice to see Turkey and the history of Islam here.”
Another passenger said: “We enjoyed a very nice guided tour of the Bosporus. I will bring my family next time. I like the idea of TourIstanbul immensely. I had a waiting time of 12 hours at the airport. Now I am enjoying some pleasant moments of the Bosporus. This is a very useful program for people like me.”
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