Tourism in Turkey Celebrates a Successful First Half of 2019

3 mins read

Latest statistics by the Turkish Statistical Institute (Turk Stat) show tourism in Turkey is performing on all cylinders as, during the first half of 2019, the country hosted 18 million visitors and generated 12.6 billion USD.

From January to June 2019, this was an increase of 13.2% year-on-year for visitors and 10% for revenue. During 2018, Turkey hosted 39.5 million tourists but are looking forward to increasing those stats during 2019.

Istanbul: King of Tourism in Turkey

Continuing a long-time trend, Istanbul dominated the tourism scene by hosting 6.8 million of these visitors in just the first five months, generating a 5-year record high. The top three visiting nationalities during this period were Germans, Iranians, and Russians, and additional stats said out of every 100 people visiting Turkey, 42 arrived in Istanbul.

tourism in Turkey

The city’s tourism industry alongside local council officials have set a goal to welcome 15 million tourists in 2019 and added that in terms of visitor stats, Istanbul is the third most popular destination in Europe and tenth in the world.

Turkey’s 2023 vision plan aims to increase the world ranking to third place and falls in line with the new airport that when completed, also in 2023, will connect Istanbul with over 300 destinations across the globe.

Also continuing time-honoured trends, the Mediterranean Antalya region rocked in at second place hosting 5.32 million people, that accounted for nearly 30%. Edirne, in Turkey’s northwest region, on the border with Bulgaria and Greece hosted 1.8 million people.


From January to June, hotel occupancy rates increased to 63.8% with stats showing the average price of a room as being 69.8 euros of which revenue stands at 44.5 euros, an increase of 8.9% year-on-year. The Turkish Hotels Association says that despite the rise Turkey is still cheaper than Europe.

Industry insiders predict year-end figures of a 10% increase in both visitors and revenue to 50 million. They also predict an increase in income per capita and overnight stays. By 2023, they want to host 70 million people annually.

Core Strengths of Turkey’s Tourism Industry

Diversity is the strongest driving factor for Turkey’s tourism industry. Accommodating both luxury and budget holidaymakers, each region’s portfolio offers something unique, whether it be cultural, historical, gastronomy, adventure sports, or shopping and nightlife scenes.

Having learned its lesson from when Russia boycotted Turkey’s tourism industry, the country also promotes itself to many nationalities around the world, and these days hosts visitors from 180 different countries, although Russians, Germans and Brits are still leaders in terms of visitors.


Significant increases in Chinese visitors thanks to the 2018 promotion campaign are being celebrated although officials say this can be increased once red tape in visas and increase flight schedules have been sorted out. South Korean tourist numbers have also doubled in the last year.

Overall tourism in Turkey is going at a smooth pace, and the future looks bright. For more news, about tourism and overseas real estate, follow Spot Blue on Facebook or sign up to our monthly newsletter.

About Natalie

Natalie is a dedicated real estate professional currently working at Spot Blue International Property. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has acquired a wealth of knowledge and expertise regarding global properties.