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Law for tourism

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Law 2634 for the Encouragement of Tourism was passed on 12 March 1982 and published in the Official Gazette 17635 on 16 March 1982

The aim of the Encouragement of Tourism Law is defined as ensuring that the required measures are taken and arrangements made for regulating and developing the tourism sector while providing it with a dynamic structure and operation. This Law covers provisions dealing with tourism services, identification and development of tourism centres by culture and tourism protection and development regions as required by such services, incentives for tourism investments and establishments as well as the regulation and auditing thereof.

The Law takes into consideration the values of Turkey’s natural, historical archaeological and socio-cultural tourism while identifying winter, hunting and water sports, and also health tourism regions in addition to other current potential protection and development regions in tourism.

It is obligatory to obtain a tourism investment certificate or a tourism establishment certificate in order to benefit from incentive schemes and exceptions, exemptions and rights provided by the Tourism Encouragement Law and other legislation. Certified investors are obliged to inform the Ministry about their investment developments in six-month periods during the establishment phase while establishments are obliged to inform the Ministry about the data to be used in designating national tourism indicators in three-month periods.

Principles and procedures regulating how incentive schemes shall be used by tourism investments and establishments are set out by the related Ministries and the Undersecretariat of the State Planning Organization under the coordination of the Ministry. Those certified establishments meeting the foreign exchange threshold annually set by the Council of Ministers are considered exporters.

Natural and legal entities may invest in or operate marine tourism vessels upon obtaining the required certificate from the Ministry. Certified marine vessels shall only be operated in line with the aims provided by the Law. Turkish and foreign yachts may be rented to Turkish citizens or foreigners for travelling, sports or recreational purposes. Such uses are not considered as passenger transportation and rented yachts shall not be used by renters for commercial purposes.

The authority to audit certified investment and establishments and qualities thereof, to check whether these maintain the qualities stated in the certificate, and to classify establishments rests with the Ministry. If deemed necessary, in the pilot regions to be announced, the Ministry may require accommodation facilities lacking tourism establishment certificates to abide by the conditions set for facilities with tourism establishment certificates in a given period. Accommodation facilities meeting the conditions are certified; those failing to do so are closed down.

Certified investments or establishments failing to abide by the conditions stated under relevant laws or regulations may be warned and/or fined and their certificates may be withdrawn.

The Law regulates the following areas: the setting up of working groups for the identification of culture and tourism protection and development regions and tourism centres; issues relating to their roles and responsibilities, working procedures and relations with the Ministry; the issuing of tourism investment and tourism establishment certificates; the management, staff and operational qualities of such establishments and physical and other conditions they must abide by; the auditing of certified investments and establishments, their price lists, hygiene, services, orders, administration and operation, qualities listed in the certificate and other conditions as well as the qualities, appointment and responsibilities of auditing personnel; marine tourism facilities and investment in and the operating of marine tourism vessels in addition to other issues which require the opinion of Undersecretariat of Maritime Affairs.