Turkey, Philippines Ink Tourism Agreement

ISTANBUL, Feb 17 (Bernama) -- Turkey and the Philippines signed an agreement Thursday to increase cooperation in culture and tourism, Turkey's Anadolu Agency (AA) reported.

Speaking to reporters after the signing ceremony in Istanbul, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avci, said the two countries had the potential to boost tourism not only through bilateral projects, but also through joint projects with third countries.

"Especially after the opening of [Istanbul's] third airport, we will have the chance to host our guests from the Philippines travelling to Europe and Africa," he said, adding he was planning to visit the Philippines in the summer.

Currently under construction, Istanbul's third airport is expected to start operating by February 2018 with a capacity of up to 200 million passengers a year.

Philippines' Tourism Secretary Wanda Corazon Tulfo Teo, for her part, expressed her hope that this agreement will encourage more people from Turkey and the Philippines to visit respective countries.

"I hope to see Mr. Minister in the Philippines in the near future. I hope that he will bring some investors and tour operators with him," AA quoted her as saying.

According to Turkey's Foreign Ministry, 70,000 Philippine tourists visited Turkey in 2014.