Not a year since the last report of record Arab tourism into Turkey we have another bumper report to share.
According to the latest reports, the number of Arab tourists entering Turkey increased by 71% in the first six months of this year compared to the previous year. The rise has been put down to the continued unrest in other middle eastern countries and the new law allowing Arabs to buy property in Turkey, but also the trend is fuelled by Turkish tv series airing in Arab countries.
Whatever the causes, the Arabs are flocking into Turkey and spending heavily, a trend which cannot be missed at the recent Istanbul shopping festival which ran from June 9 to June 29th. Spending at the event increased by 35% compared to last year, with the use of foreign credit cards up 64%.
According to the culture and tourism ministry some 140,000 Arab tourists came to Turkey in June, with the number of tourists from Qatar and Bahrain up 92% and 90% respectively compared to last year, while tourism from Kuwait increased by 64% and tourism from the UAE was up 54% year on year.
It is now over a year since the Arab Spring proper, but obviously you still have the fighting in Syria, tourists avoiding uncertainty in Egypt and the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Qata all warning their citizens to avoid travel to Lebanon in recent weeks. Arabs enjoy holidaying amidst their own culture, so it is hardly surprising that places like Dubai, the UAE and Turkey, which are beacons of stability in the region are attracting so much tourism from within the Arab world.
The Istanbul shopping festival this year was launched in Dubai, by Turkish soap stars.