The Association of Turkish Travel Agencies is a professional organization having the status of legal person, established by Law in 1972. (The Law concerning Travel Agencies and the Association of Travel Agencies; Law No 1618,effective as of 28 September 1972)
The main aims of the Association are, the development of the travel agency profession in harmony with the country's economy and tourism sector, and protection of professional ethics and solidarity.
In accordance with the Law No. 1618 travel agencies can be established upon the issue of an operation licence by the Ministry of Tourism and are obliged to become a member of TURSAB in order to be able to conduct travel agency bussiness, and offer services specified by the Law No.1618.
The Regulation Pertaining to Travel Agencies prepared in accordance with the Law 1618 effective as of 04.09.1996 contains in further detail Exclusive Services of Travel Agencies as well as other services rendered by them. The Regulation specifies the exclusive services of travel agencies in detail under the subheadings, Organizing Tours, Transfer, Reservation, Information, Organizing Congresses and Conferences, Renting Out Individual Vehicles for Tour Purposes, Selling Tickets for Transport Vehicles, Selling the Products of Travel Agencies.
In accordance with the Law No.1618, travel agencies are established upon the issue of an operation License by the Ministry of Tourism, and they are obliged to become members of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies.
Travel Agencies are divided into three groups according to the services they perform:
Group (A) Agencies offer and perform all services specified in Article 1 of the Law No.16
Group (B) agencies sell tickets for international land, sea and air transport and tours arranged by (A) group travel agencies.
Group (C) agencies organise and sell domestic tours for Turkish citizens.
Group (B) and (C) agencies can also carry out the services which are entrusted to them by (A) group travel agencies.
According to the law, group A agencies shall be granted provisional operation licence for a period of two years. Provisional operation licence of an A group travel agency can be converted to operation licence if the agency can obtain within this period of two years certain amount of foreign exchange earnings, as specified by the relevant article of the law.
(A) group agencies can also organize tours to foreign countries from Turkey provided that such tours do not exceed % 25 of the amount of foreign exchange they brought from abroad in the previous year, through the tours arranged by them. Foreign travel agencies cannot organise tours to foreign countries from Turkey.
There are, at present 5184 travel agencies including branch offices all over Turkey.
Travel agency bussiness has flourished in line with the development of Turkish tourism. A great leap in the number of travel agencies has been observed since 1990 reaching a total of 5184 by 2007.
Turkish travel agencies offer wide range of products to satisfy demand of any segment of market; most travel agencies diversified their field of activity and products while some others are specialized in specific areas.
Turkish travel agencies gained valuable experiences through decades. Their dynamic enterprising nature, understanding of market have enabled them to establish successful bussiness relations producing fruitful results. These efforts alltogether have given impetus to the rate of growth and played a major role in the achievements of the Turkish tourism. Some, even set up business abroad, in several tourist generating countries under severe competitive market situation and accomplished success. Their achievements have also contributed to increase in demand to Turkey.
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