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UNDP Turkey: This is the New Horizons Podcast prepared by United Nations Development Programme in Turkey. In this episode, we will mention about a sustainable tourism project, which has completed successfully in the past few days and it can be scaled in different areas of Turkey. Future is in Tourism supports Safranbolu Souvenir has run by the cooperation between Anatolia Efes, Republic of Turkey Tourism and Culture Ministry and United Nations Development Program (UNDP). The project started in 2015 and it has finished on January 2016. Assoc. Dr. Nuray Türker who’s the project officer explains that how Safranbolu Souvenir project was designed and what was being done for it.

Nuray Türker: Actually, that was in my head. But it was a large-scale work. I thought it for Karabük, Kastamonu and Bartın. But when I saw the advertisement of Future is in Tourism and also they opened a project application with a formal letter and I saw it at last day at last year so I couldn’t apply it. When I saw that advertisement this year again I thought that I could apply to application reducing the project on the scale of Safranbolu. And I applied. At the end, my project was among the winners. First the important point is to learn what the visitors want to buy from here, how much money they can pay and what they want to buy. This meaning is a quite wide which includes what are local and foreign visitors buying souvenirs, their habits, what they expect, how much they can pay, what they want to buy. We did a questionnaire study in this context.  At the end of this study we reached 1.020 tourists and got some results. To present another perspective we negotiated 30-souvenir tradesmen and we tried to learn these questions answers such as what tourists buy, what they want to buy, how much money they want to pay. We achieved a number of results at the end of these meetings. To specify the visitors buying habits is the one side of this project.  

UNDP Turkey: Safranbolu Souvenir has applied the cooperation with University of Karabük and Safranbolu Chamber of Merchants and Craftsmen. This project aims to increase the kind of souvenirs and create the new job opportunities for local people. In this context, a design competition was held in the second part of the project. We listen to Nuray Türker:

Nuray Türker: While we are desining these new souvenirs and making their prototypies our aim is to take step towards to production. Within this scope we have moved down 2 road with 2 dimension. Firsty, we opened a souvenir design competition and we received some applications from the issue related universities in Turkey. As a result of the application was rated one two three and five works, including two honorable mentions. And they were considered worthy. Secondly we continued with the design of three students of Karabük University Engineering faculty. And 9 products are outputs. We put these products to brochure and submits to trades. Accordingly, we produced prototypies and we bring them as a brochure. And showing them to the trades, explaining that the intention here actually to do make them a lead. In that situation chamber of artisans have so many multi-task. Because many of tradesmen are registered to Union of Chamber of Merchants and Craftsmen. Union of chamber of merchants and craftsmen are our partners in this project because of this reason. Hence we expect that these products can hit stores in Safranbolu with the support of chamber of artians and local governments.

UNDP Turkey: Safranbolu Souvenir project’s one of the most important outcome of the results were obtained through a survey conducted on the behavior of buying souvenirs. Nuray Türker explains the most confusing result to her:

Nuray Türker: I think that visitors expectations are high about the products. But confusing me the sellers behaviour and his kidness are more important. So and so we had also open-ended questions in our survey. One of the complaint is about the less quality and less diversity of products. As well as this some sellers to be rude and pushy vendors or become irrelevant to customers. This is another result. Thus, the personal behavior shown here by a vendor that is very important in buying comes out in this case. The highest average arithmetic was loaded on this factor that's why I say it.

UNDP Turkey: After a successful project Assoc. Dr. Nuray Türker explains the future plans of Safranbolu.

Nuray Türker:  We had educational works in earlier. Because I work at an educational institution. We gave workshops related about education of tourism and developed it. We opened a landlord course and we gave education to women. We can open a course to show the appropriate behaviour to trades when they confront a customer. Or maybe we can explain what is tourism in general context. Actually we can plan an educational activity to explain how communication is established with people like what you do have.  Honestly, there have a mentality problem in this issue. Sellers sell their products cheaply and they say “customers want to buy this.” But I do not think like that. Customers get what you give them. İf you give a good product some of them gets and if you give mediocre products some of them gets them as well. We say that the visitors who come here in a middle-income group. Thereby the mentality should change. We should try empose the idea to sellers if I design good products although they get expensive I can sell them. Generally all tradesmen has this perception. They want cheap and simple products. That’s the reason why they prefer to sell one liret products to 100 liret products. They should sell all of them to reach 100 liret. I’m saying that sell one product to earn 100 liret and do not spend any energy to sell all of products. Because they buy them, spend time and try to sell it. I think like that.

UNDP Turkey: We have come to end of the episode of New Horizons with Assoc. Prof. DrNuray Türker from Karabuk University Safranbolu Tourism Faculty.In this episode, we will mention about a sustainable tourism project, which has completed successfully in the past few days and it can be scaled in different areas of Turkey. This program has been recorded at the studio of Yodiviki in İstanbul. You can follow our program on FM frequency in İstanbul, on Açık Radyo (Open Radio) on Internet, on university radios in our broadcasting network, on iTunes, Soundcloud, TuneIn, Pure Connect, Yodiviki, Audioboo and TTNET Müzik in podcast format, and also on tr.undp.org. Our user name for social media is undpturkiye. Hope to see you soon, good-bye!


















Safranbolu Souvenir

Assoc. Dr. Nuray Turkey is, Safranbolu, Karabük University Faculty of Tourism