Turkey’s tourism season ended on a high after results revealed a 23% increase in visitors’ year-on-year for the first three quarters. With October marking the last month of the official tourism time period starting in May, confident government officials say they will break yearly figures proving the travel industry of Turkey has rebounded in style.
From January to September 2018 37 million tourists come to Turkey, and while beach-side destinations have dialled down, tourists continue to flock to the country for city breaks. Stats also include Turkish expats who live abroad and visit their home country.
Foreign nationalities leading the way in visitor stats include Russians, an increase of 16.1% Y-O-Y. 3.6 million Germans, 1.9 Brits, 1.7 million Bulgarian and 1.69 Iranians were also top visiting nationalities.
The top visited destination was Antalya, which is no surprise because Russians and Germans have adored the region for decades. Nicknamed Turkey’s tourism capital, the area rose in popularity during 2018 and reached an all-time high in October. For the first ten months, they hosted 12.5 million tourists, of which 4.6 million were Russians.
In 2015 and 2016, Antalya’s travel industry suffered when security fears rocked the travel industry all over the globe. During this time, Turkey also experienced a coup that surprised many and out them off travelling to the country. Visitor stats to Antalya dropped to 6.5 million, so for the region to host double that two years later is a massive come back. Most tourists arrive via Antalya’s ultramodern airport and the smaller Gazipasa Airport in Alanya.
The comeback of Turkey’s travel industry is impressive, but the government is not prepared to rest on their laurels and have already outlined plans to attract more people, and revenue.
New Istanbul airport plays a large part in ensuring frequent flights from over 300 destinations around the world. Turkey is still courting China, the globe’s most prominent and fastest growing travel market, and other countries with a growing travel market like Japan and India.
Revenue is the biggest benefit and Turkey is keen to target high-income spenders, which the Turkish government expects to rise by 40% in 2019. Travel niches receiving high income spenders include spa, wellness, medical, real estate and adventure sports.
The Chinese who prefer cultural and historical sites, are also known to splash cash on a shopping spree or two.