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Extensive impact of ‘Go Türkiye’ campaign after reaching millions during US debate

Extensive impact of 'Go Türkiye' campaign after reaching millions during US debate Group of travelers stands before an airport departure board. (Adobe Photo Stock)
By Selin Hacialioglu
Jun 30, 2024 1:05 PM

On June 27, Türkiye seized a unique opportunity to promote its tourism through its new campaign, “Go Türkiye,” during one of the most-watched events in America: the first presidential debate between former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden.

The debate was broadcast by CNN and featured advertisements for Türkiye’s cultural and natural attractions.

This strategic move was coordinated by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and the Türkiye Tourism Promotion and Development Agency (TGA).

Türkiye seizes advertising slot during Trump vs. Biden debate

The advertisements aired during three key segments of the debate: before it started, during the commercial break, and after it ended. The campaign presented Türkiye’s beauty and cultural heritage under the slogan “Go Türkiye.”

These advertisements captured the attention of millions. Besides the U.S. audience, the campaign reached over 200 countries through CNN International. This global exposure was part of TGA’s mission to increase Türkiye’s visibility worldwide.

TGA’s approach aimed to leverage the debate’s high viewership. “The presidential debate provided an unparalleled platform to reach a vast audience,” a TGA spokesperson stated.

The commercials featured iconic locations such as Istanbul’s historic sites and other renowned tourist spots across Türkiye. The campaign emphasized Türkiye’s diverse attractions, from its bustling cities to serene landscapes.

How many people saw the ‘Go Türkiye’ advertisement?

Extensive impact of 'Go Türkiye' campaign after reaching millions during US debate
A Turkish flag is pictured on a boat with the Ortakoy Mosque in the background in Istanbul, Türkiye September 5, 2021. (Reuters Photo)

The presidential debate drew 51.3 million viewers, according to Nielsen ratings. This was a significant audience, despite a drop from previous years. Of these viewers, 12.6 million were in the 25-54 age demographic, which is highly valued by advertisers.

Additionally, CNN reported over 30 million live starts on its digital platforms and YouTube. Millions more likely watched clips or parts of the debate on social media. TGA’s campaign successfully reached a vast audience during a highly-anticipated political event.

The initial figures suggested Fox News had the highest viewership, but final numbers showed CNN leading with 9.53 million viewers. Other networks also had substantial viewership, including Fox News with 9.27 million, ABC with 9.21 million, and NBC with 5.39 million.

This broad exposure across multiple networks amplified Türkiye’s reach.

Türkiye’s tourism statistics for first half of 2024

Extensive impact of 'Go Türkiye' campaign after reaching millions during US debate

In the first five months of 2024, Türkiye hosted 17.81 million visitors, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. This marked a 12.47% increase from the previous year, with 15.78 million of these being foreign visitors.

Germany led the ranking of countries sending the most visitors, with 1.12 million, followed by Russia with 1.08 million, and Iran with 946,437 visitors. In May alone, Türkiye welcomed 5.13 million foreign visitors, a 14% increase compared to the same month last year.

Istanbul, one of the leading centers of global tourism, showed an impressive performance, hosting 6.92 million foreign visitors in the first five months of the year, marking a 10.31% increase year-on-year.

In May, the city saw a rise of 11.48%, welcoming 1.68 million foreign visitors. Russia led the rankings of countries sending the most visitors to Istanbul in May, followed by Germany, the U.S., Iran, the U.K., and France.

Future of Turkish tourism campaign for 2024

Extensive impact of 'Go Türkiye' campaign after reaching millions during US debate
Türkiye’s “Go Türkiye” campaign airs during the first presidential debate of former President Donald Trump and current President Joe Biden, Atlanta, United States, June 27, 2024. (IHA Photo)

The Turkish tourism campaign will continue until the end of the year. It will feature other major tourist destinations in Türkiye, beyond Istanbul, and will be shown on various digital platforms.

This initiative aims to enhance Türkiye’s global tourism profile and attract international visitors.

TGA plans to draw attention to regions such as Cappadocia, the beaches of Antalya, and the ancient ruins of Ephesus. “Our goal is to present the full spectrum of Türkiye’s attractions,” explained the TGA spokesperson. The campaign will include interactive content and virtual tours on social media to engage potential tourists.

Cappadocia, renowned for its natural and cultural treasures in Nevsehir, welcomed 1.66 million tourists in the first five months of the year. The region is particularly famous for its hot-air balloon tours and hosted 185,443 participants during this period.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cappadocia continues to attract growing interest in hot-air balloon tourism. Tourists enjoy breathtaking views over valleys adorned with fairy chimneys and natural rock formations.

Türkiye’s tourism potential

Extensive impact of 'Go Türkiye' campaign after reaching millions during US debate
A crowd of visitors at Topkapi Palace, in Istanbul, Türkiye, April 6, 2024 (IHA Photo)

Türkiye’s tourism potential originates from its rich cultural heritage, diverse natural landscapes, and strategic geographical location. The country boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites, including ancient ruins like Ephesus and Troy, and iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul.

The diverse natural beauty includes pristine beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, scenic landscapes in Cappadocia and lush greenery in the Black Sea region.

Located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Türkiye benefits from its strategic location, making it easily accessible from major global markets. This proximity enhances its appeal as a travel destination for international tourists, offering a blend of Eastern and Western influences.

Türkiye’s tourism infrastructure is well-developed, with modern accommodations, transportation networks, and tourist services catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. Turkish hospitality, renowned for its warmth and generosity, further enhances the overall tourist experience.

Last Updated:  Jul 1, 2024 10:35 AM