Posted on 30 April 2010
In the first quarter of this year, income from tourism in Turkey was down 2.2% compared to the same period of last year, according to the latest data available from Turkstat. This is a major surprise, given that income in the fourth quarter of last year was 11.6% higher than the fourth quarter of 2008.
So, on the face of it this is a blow for Turkey. But if you dig a little deeper into the statistics you quickly realise that it is not as it seems.
Looking at the monthly data for last year and this year, we can see that income was considerably lower in January this year than last (798,686.654 compared to 735,469.267), but it was only slightly down in February (722,307.105 / 721,358.120), and it rose in March (945,577.293 / 956,697.423). This points to growth as we enter the main season, and, more importantly visitor numbers show the same pattern.
According to the data Turkey received approximately 18,000 fewer visitors in January this year than last year, but in February visitor numbers increased by approximately 48,000 year on year, and in March by approximately 87,000. Visitor numbers in February and March were 1,105.749 and 1,513.316 respectively. Thus the data points to tourism growth accelerating.