The Turkish Statistical Institution (Turk Stat) has unveiled its latest report showing Turkish tourism revenue in 2017 rebounded by 18.9% year-on-year. Reaching its peak in 2014 with a record-breaking 34 billion USD, it dropped drastically in the following two years after a series of terrorist attacks and a failed coup rocked the tourism industry in Turkey.
Following intense security campaigns as well as branded media advertising, tourism started to recover in 2017 and revenue for the total year was 26.3 billion USD. 21.5 billion of it is credited to independent travel while package tours made up the result by contributing 4.8 billion USD.
Foreign visitors spent the most amount of money on food, drink, and transport, closely followed by overnight accommodation of which they prefer hotels and motels despite the increase in popularity of self-catering facilities.
While in Turkey, they also spent roughly 3 billion on attire and 1 billion on souvenirs, not including 100 million on Turkish carpets and rugs that are highly recommended as must buys while visiting the country.
Fourth quarter figures which include November and December that are traditionally out of the primary tourism season showed an increase in revenue of 27% to reach 6.1 billion USD. Foreign visitors accounted for 77% of this income.
Of the 6.1 billion USD revenue for the fourth quarter, 5.6 billion resulted from independent travel while 1.5 billion was the result of visitors signing up for package tours of Turkey. Turkish citizens living abroad also spent an average of 978 USD while foreign tourists spent an average of 687 USD.
The news is in line with expectations for 2018 that the Turkish tourism industry can bounce back to 2014 figures and achieve its 2023 goals to be one of the top visited destinations in the world. The flight market between the UK and Turkey is set to play a major part in this comeback after many UK airlines drastically increased their seat capacity.
The good news doesn’t stop there though because TUROB, the hotel association of Turkey is showing an 18% increase year-on-year in hotel occupancy rates. Taking its stats from STR Global, an international hotel data benchmarking service, Turkey showed the highest growth among European countries by reaching 60.2%.
TUROB are cautious before celebrating success though and point out that the ADR (average daily room rate) fell by an average of 12%, therefore profits are not what they could be. Insisting that any price increase should not scare away potential tourists, the association will be discussing the issue in the months to come.
Note: Figures are rounded up.