Traveller's paradise

The influx of tourists to Türkiye has gained a renewed momentum

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 12:57 PM

According to official data released on January 31, 2020 Türkiye’s tourism revenues increased by 103 per cent on an annual basis to $24.48 billion last year. This reflects a recovery from the initial wave of Covid-19 pandemic measures in 2020.

Türkiye welcomed 29.4 million visitors last year, an increase of 85.5 per cent compared to 2020, but down from 51.9 million in 2019. This showed that the figure for last year fell short of the all-time high of $34.5 billion set in 2019, prior to the outbreak of the pandemic, as per the data collected by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK).

During the same time period, the average tourism expenditures per capita stood at $1,029 in 2021, up from $926 in 2020. In the fourth quarter of 2021, tourism revenues rose 95 per cent to $7.63 billion, only three per cent below the level in October-December 2019.

In the same period, while individual expenditures constituted $5.88 billion of the total tourism income, $1.74 billion of tourism income was obtained by package tour expenditures. The data showed that visitors spent the most on food and beverages — nearly $5.4 billion — as well as clothes and shoes — $3.2 billion — last year.

“In this year, while foreign visitors visited Türkiye mostly for ‘travel, entertainment, sporting and cultural activities’ with 71.4 per cent, Turkish citizens resident abroad visited mostly for ‘visiting relatives and friends’ with 64.5 per cent,” it said. Separately, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism also announced that foreigner visits to Türkiye had surged 94 per cent annually, from 24.7 million in 2020.

Istanbul was the top tourist destination in the country with over 9 million arrivals, accounting for 36.5 percent of all foreign visitors in 2021.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed with 8.7 million foreign visitors last year. The third top destination was the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, welcoming some 2.6 million foreigners.

As for the nationalities of foreign visitors, Russia took first place with 19 per cent — some five million visitors — over the same period, followed by Germany — 12.5 per cent or 3.1 million and Ukraine — 8.3 per cent or 2.1 million.

Türkiye aims to generate $35 billion in tourism revenues in 2022, according to Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, Minister for Culture and Tourism Minister. On January 13, 2022, he said: “The year 2019 was a very good year when Türkiye welcomed nearly 51.7 million foreign tourists and revenues amounted to $34.5 billion. However, amid the Covid-19 pandemic, foreign tourist arrivals and revenues declined to 16 million people and $12 billion, respectively, in 2020.”

— Source: TÜİK

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