Libyan tour operators and Turkish officials from the country’s eastern Black Sea region convened on Monday to discuss strategies to boost tourism in the area.

The event, organized by the Turkish conglomerate Karanfil Group, aimed to showcase the tourism potential of the eastern Black Sea region. It brought together Libyan delegates and several regional leaders, including the mayors of Giresun and Trabzon and the governor of Gümüşhane.

Key topics discussed included the proposed sister city protocol between Trabzon and Tripoli and strategies for promoting Trabzon as a tourist destination in Libya.

Karanfil Group Chairperson Murtaza Karanfil highlighted a record surge in tourism last year, with 57 million tourists visiting Türkiye, and expressed optimism for another record in 2024, projecting tourism income to exceed $60 billion.

The number of foreign arrivals to Türkiye soared nearly 12.5% annually from January to May, reaching 15.8 million, as the Culture and Tourism Ministry data showed last month. Combined with the arrival of more than 2 million Turkish citizens living abroad, the figure reached almost 17.1 million.

Karanfil emphasized Trabzon’s growing appeal, noting a 38% increase in domestic and foreign travelers last year. “We aim to contribute to this growth by attracting more tourists from Libya,” he added.

Nearly 200,000 Libyan tourists visited Türkiye in 2023, according to the data from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

The northern Black Sea region, including its largest cities such as Trabzon, Samsun and Ordu, has become increasingly popular in recent years due to its lush greenery and splendid nature. Tourists from neighboring countries such as Georgia and Azerbaijan, as well as visitors from Gulf Arab nations, have been opting for holidays in the area.

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