Our story started in 2007 as the East Anatolia Tourism Development Project (DATUR) to develop a local development model along tourism axis in Coruh Valley under the partnership of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Anadolu Efes. The project was instrumental in setting up more than 20 boarding houses, activating many civil society organizations serving tourism, creating biking and hiking routes, organizing such local festivals as rafting and bird observing etc; and through such investments, domestic and foreign tourists took greater interest in the region. Consequently, Uzundere District was declared a tourism centre in 2013 by the Decree of Council of Ministers. That ensured sustainability of the tourism model built for the region.
In addition to DATUR, tourism training was delivered in 27 provinces in the period of 2007-2012 in partnership with Bosphorus University Lifelong Learning Centre, certifying more than 5,000 in tourism.
We decided in 2012 to scale up our regional experience of five years to national level. We, as the partnership of Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and Anadolu Efes, initiated the “Future is in Tourism” in order to position tourism as an alternative sustainable development means, pave the groundwork for creating local role models through encouraging entrepreneurship, and rally the public sector, private sector, academe and civil society to support tourism.
We provide advice, mentoring and communication support as well as funding to 3 projects every year to make projects feasible and sustainable.