It's official, Turkey has crossed the long-anticipated threshold of 30 million visitors, a year later than expected. During the boom the government set the tourism target that Turkey would be receiving 30 million visitors per year by 2010. Then the credit crunch happened.
Most tourism markets were completely derailed by the crisis as it engulfed the world, but Turkey barely lost its stride. Well, tourism growth did slow; after visitor numbers grew by 4.8 million year on year in 2007 and by 3 million in 2008, 2009's growth of around 700,000 was a hit, but by 2010 growth was already accelerating again, with visitor numbers of 1.5 million compared to 2009.
The data above comes from the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism. According to the same data Turkey welcomed 28.63 million visitors in 2010. So we are talking about a growth of around 1.5 million visitors again this year.
Another story that is important to the property market also came this week, according to the Environment and Urbanization Minister, Erdogan Bayraktar, the draft law to allow all foreign nationals to buy property in Turkey is to be looked at in the first days of next year. Turkey currently allows people from countries where Turks can buy to buy property in Turkey, but the new law would scrap that clause allowing nationals from a further 89 countries to buy in Turkey. The law is expected to be passed in the first quarter of 2012.
"Turkey offers an excellent investment location for foreigners. The new legislation will make obtaining property easier with the lifting of the reciprocity principle. Citizens of other countries will be able to buy any kind of property, including homes and office space," said Bayraktar at the sidelines of a conference he attended in Istanbul.
The limits to a piece of land that a foreign national can possess will be extended considerably as well, the Minister remarked, saying that the 2.5 hectare limit (25,000 square meters) will be raised to 30 hectares (300,000 square meters).