Bodrum is hitting the news once again as this month Turkey’s construction Ağaoğlu Group has said it signed a letter of intent with investors from China and Hong Kong to build a 12 million square metre tourism city in the Aegean resort of Bodrum. In a statement issued on 15th September, the Ağaoğlu Group said the tourism city, which will be Europe’s largest when it is completed, will include golf courses, hotels, residences, villas, university campuses, offices, a techno park and health facilities.
“We signed a letter of intent with a Hong Kong-based financial investor and a Chinese construction investor group, which is specialized in city building and has several international investments, to build a tourism city in Bodrum, which will attract people throughout the year,” Ağaoğlu Group Chair Ali Ağaoğlu said.
He noted that China’s “One Belt One Road” project was expected to create an $8 trillion additional infrastructure investment across 68 countries. “Turkey will get its own share from this project,” he added. The Ağaoğlu Group said recently, Chinese investors want to end the Silk Road in Bodrum.
“Bodrum will be a window to the west for them. They told us the project is of strategic importance and they want to make an investment,” he said, adding that the planned tourism city would be Turkey’s new attraction. This would be a major investment for Turkey and especially Bodrum, recent high-profile figures have been seen holidaying in Bodrum and the surrounding areas.
In the past few months, Turkey has made it clear they hope to receive around 1 million Chinese visitors in 2018. We are informed Chinese travellers are now on Turkeys most wanted list for 2018 and Turkey is hoping to secure Chinese holidaymakers under the banner of “Turkey Tourism Year” in China within the framework of the “One Belt One Road” project. The target is 1 million Chinese tourists for 2018.
The head of Wanda Real Beijing, which is owned by China’s Wanda Group, Fuat Köroğlu recently stated “that the declaration of 2018 by China as “Turkey Year” would create significant opportunities for the sector; the main problem of Turkey has unfortunately been wrong marketing policies. In order to evaluate this key opportunity, a comprehensive marketing and PR plan must be immediately prepared. The Chinese market is a very big and ready market,” Köroğlu said. “Marketing and PR work must be carried out to appeal to Chinese TV” he added.
In order to entice Chinese travellers, he stressed that Turkey also needed to diversify its tourism attractions “as Chinese travellers usually do not prefer sunbathing and swimming tourism.” It’s true to say from what we know about Chinese travellers they prefer to sightsee and seem more interested in historical buildings, culture and Art.
It seems that Bodrum will be the prime location to entice Chinese tourists for 2018 and with the proposed tourism city it looks like the beginning of a very good relationship between China and Turkey will be forged; it’s all good news for Turkey.