Turkey's potential as a source of increased tourism and business revenue has not been fully exploited, partly because of Scotland's low profile in the high-growth nation, according to the head of Turkey's expansionist national carrier in Scotland.

Ahmet Serat Sari, general manager of Turkish Airlines in Edinburgh said that Scotland was "missing a trick" in the wake of a new survey by Turkish tourism portal Tatilsepeti.com which showed Edinburgh ranking with Naples, Lyon, Valencia and Amsterdam as the most aspirational destinations for Turkish travellers.

Turkish Airlines, one of the fastest-growing airlines in the world with 266 destinations in 110 countries, introduced flights between Edinburgh and the major hub airport Istanbul in 2012. It now flies nine weekly flights in the summer period. Sari said that the possibility of adding new flights to Edinburgh would be reviewed "at the end of the year."

With a population of 76m people and a strong GDP growth rate of 4.1% in 2013, Turkey, now the 16th largest economy in the world, has achieved rapid advances in affluence in recent decades, emerging largely unscathed from the economic downturn. The country has stepped up its international engagement, opening a Consulate General in Edinburgh in 2014 as part of a major diplomatic expansion. Around 100,000 young Turks are currently studying abroad, 30,000 in the UK, though only 1000 attend Scottish universities according to Sari.

"I think you have a marketing problem, you have to promote your country more in Turkey. People only know about the kilt and Braveheart, but there is huge potential for many more visitors. Establishing more of a Scottish marketing presence in Turkey would provide a good return on investment."

"There is a rapidly growing population. They have money and they want to explore new places, I think Scotland has huge potential, but more needs to be done to attract them."

A spokesman for VisitScotland said that, while the marketing body lacked the budget for a consumer advertising campaign in Turkey, it was engaged with tour operators and other intermediaries to increase ways for Turkish travellers to "buy Scotland". The engagement included a hosted visit to Scotland of Tursab, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies in September last year.

Turkish Airlines, winner of European Airline of the Year for the last four years, announced an alliance with Scottish Chambers of Commerce in November 2014.