The Turkish tourism industry is looking forward to a profitable year as latest reports show European and other nationalities are flocking back to explore the country’s cities and enjoy the 7000 kilometres of coastline.
Reaching its peak in 2015, the Turkish tourism industry weathered a series of disasters in recent years including terror attacks, a failed coup and a diplomatic event with Russia that severely dented its tourism revenue.
The Turkish tourism industry was hesitant going into 2017, especially after the New Year’s attacks on a nightclub in Istanbul. However, increased security campaigns prevented any more attacks, and tourist confidence in Turkey slowly started to rebound.
Reaching 29 million visitors from January to September of 2017, this exceeded the total amount of 25 million visitors in 2016. A large part of this rebounded was credited towards the return of the Russians, Brits and Germans.
Tourism revenue dropped drastically from 31.4 billion in 2015 to 22.1 billion in 2016, yet in 2017, 20 billion was made in the first nine months, and the year finished making 26 billion.
2018 got off to a good start with 1.5 million tourists in January, an increase of 39% year on year. Out of this figure, 68,000 people were Russians, a significant improvement on the same time last year, when Turkey was still suffering the after-effects of a boycott, that resulted in the industry losing a staggering 8 billion USD in revenue.
A significant increase in tourists from Iran, Georgia, Germany and Bulgaria was also recorded. Adhering to its record of accomplishment, Istanbul stayed the number one destination by accounting for 57% of these arrivals. Unusually, other popular destinations were Edirne and Artvin in the Northeast that borders with Georgia.
As well as increased flight seat availability from major UK destinations, many incentives have been implemented to boost tourism including increased participation in international trade fairs, a declaration by the Chinese that 2018 is the Year of Tourism in Turkey, and a domestic campaign that promotes 2018 as the Year of Troy.
In 2018, 4 million Germans are expected to visit Turkey, thanks to early bookings by the extensive travel Giant TUI showing a 70% increase year on year. In 2017, 3.4 million Germans visited Turkey, a drop from 5.4 million in 2015.
Thanks to diplomatic work behind the scenes, Turkey also regained its ranking as the favourite destination for Russians, that accounted for 4.7 million visitors. In 2018, they hope to host 5 million Russian visitors who particularly favour the Antalya region on the Mediterranean coast.