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25 Mar, 2012

More Arabic-speaking Guides Needed in Turkey


ISTANBUL – Anatolia News Agency – The increase in the number of Arab tourists visiting Istanbul in recent years as a result of the development of political relations between Turkey and the Middle Eastern countries has created a need for Arabic-speaking tour guides.

Istanbul has the highest number of tour guides in Turkey, with 3,440, while the central province of Sivas, for example, has three. The total number of English-speaking tour guides in the country is 5,356 in the entire country, while Arabic-speaking tour guides number 183 and Persian-speaking guides only 31.

Tourist Guides Union (TUREB) Chairman Şerif Yenen said that according to data provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of certified tourist guides in Turkey is 13,241, of which 9,000 are still active.

Yenen said that there has been a steep increase in the number of Arab tourists visiting Turkey in the last five years, and Istanbul and Bursa are the cities those tourists visit most.

Yenen said that English was the foreign language most commonly spoken by tour guides, and added that demand for Arabic-speaking guides has increased 30-40 percent because of the increase in the number of Arab tourists. “There are many illegal Arabic-speaking tour guides, and this is why professional Arabic-speaking tour guides have difficulty finding work.”