Dunya - As the Arab Spring takes its toll on the economies of the Middle East, a consistently growing Turkey with positive economic indicators proves to be a glimmer of hope for the region’s turmoil-ridden countries. The wave of popular unrest cost the region’s tourism sector USD 10 billion of income last year.
Arab Tourism Organization’s (ATO) President Dr Bandar bin Fahed al Fahed, along with his Turkish partner Mehmet Yucel, invested in a 5-star spa and wellness center in Cerkezkoy geared mainly for tourists from the Middle Eastern countries. The partners will invest USD 200 million in the My Tuana chain until the end of 2012 and are set to increase the number of hotels to 50 over the next five years. A member of the Saudi royal family, Dr Bandar bin Fahed al Fahed has also played a key role in building Bursa Dagyenice’s USD 2 billion thermal complex. It is reported that talks between local officials and a Saudi company about the project are at an advanced stage.
ATO is one of the co-organizers of ATCEX 2012 – the first Arab-Turk Forum and Expo Event to be held in Bursa on April 13-20. Around 400 tourism investors from Arab countries are expected to gather in the city, a popular destination in Turkey for Arab tourists, for the meeting to assess the region’s tourism potential. The event is expected to be attended by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and high-level delegates from ATO member countries.