What about a free visit to Istanbul? Turkish Airlines way to promote tourism


The free accommodation service Stopover, which Turkish Airlines launched last year for its transfer passengers and serviced to long connection transfer passengers, continues to carry the passenger experience to different dimensions. By the end of the first year, over 14 thousand transfer passengers have experienced the privilege of discovering Istanbul with the Stopover application.  


The Stopover accommodation service started in Pakistan, which was selected as the pilot region, in March 2017 by the flag carrier airline, and then enlarged in June to include Russia, has been appreciated greatly by the passengers using Istanbul as the transfer hub. The application, which was enlarged upon the passengers’ satisfaction and the demands received, was preferred by 4 thousand passengers from 11 different countries in the first sixth months. By the end of the first year, 14 thousand passengers from 18 different countries have took advantage of exploring Istanbul without any additional charge during their travels. 


Ahmet Olmuştur, Chief Marketing and Sales Officer, Turkish Airlines said, “With our application we commenced a year ago, we provide our passengers with an opportunity of experiencing Turkish hospitality and the unique beauties of Istanbul. We had started with two countries, and today, we have enlarged the coverage of this service to 19 countries. The positive feedbacks we received from our passengers throughout one year made us very happy. Upon the demands received, we will offer this service to 10 more countries, including China and India, in the third quarter of the year 2018. We fly to 122 countries; the path is clear for our project.”


Of the passengers who have accommodated in Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities of the world, during their travels by preferring the Stopover accommodation service, 62% said that they have traveled with Turkish Airlines for the first time, while 73% said that the Stopover privilege was an important factor for them to prefer Turkish Airlines. Pakistan, Russia, and South Africa were the top three regions preferring the application.  


Interest in the Stopover application will increase with Istanbul New Airport

                The number of transfer passengers to come to Istanbul is expected to rise considerably with Istanbul New Airport that will make Turkey the world’s new aviation center. The transit passengers who will use Istanbul as a transfer hub will be able to transform their travels into a comfortable and entertaining journey with the Stopover accommodation service if they have over 20 hours between their two flights. In this process, the coverage of the Stopover application will be extended. 


About the Stopover application

With the hotel cheque to be issued after purchasing their tickets, the Stopover passengers who have connecting Turkish Airlines flights with connection periods over 20 hours can stay free of charge for 1 night in a 4-star hotel (economy class passengers) or for 2 nights in a 5-star hotel (business class passengers) located in Sultanahmet or Taksim districts of Istanbul, thus having an opportunity to spend more pleasant times in Istanbul.** 


The goal of the Stopover project is to make a contribution to Turkish tourism so that the unique beauties of Istanbul can be discovered and the city can become a global hub, and to increase the number of the transfer passengers of Turkish Airlines.


** In order to be able to benefit from the Stopover service, the passengers traveling with Turkish Airlines are required to have round trip ticket and connection time of at least 20 hours in Istanbul.


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Juergen Thomas Steinmetz has continuously worked in the travel and tourism industry since he was a teenager in Germany (1979), beginning as a travel agent up through today as a publisher of eTurboNews (eTN), one of the world’s most influential and most-read travel and tourism publications. He is also Chairman of ICTP. His experiences include working and collaborating with various national tourism offices and non-governmental organizations, as well as private and non-profit organizations, and in planning, implementing, and quality control of a range of travel and tourism-related activities and programs, including tourism policies and legislation. His major strengths include a vast knowledge of travel and tourism from the point of view of a successful private enterprise owner, superb networking skills, strong leadership, excellent communication skills, strong team player, attention to detail, dutiful respect for compliance in all regulated environments, and advisory skills in both political and non-political arenas with respect to tourism programs, policies, and legislation. He has a thorough knowledge of current industry practices and trends and is a computer and Internet junkie.