Turkey’s flagship carrier, Turkish Airlines, has seen a steep rise in the number of passengers flying to Turkey this year, thanks to a combination of increased demand from tourism and business.
Between January and June 2013, Turkish Airlines saw a 25.8 per cent increase in global ticket sales over the same period in 2012, a total of more than 22.4 million passengers. The international carrier’s US ticket sales to Turkey alone jumped 10 per cent between May and June 2013 compared to the same months last year. Turkish Airlines’ largest increase in passengers came from Africa, which had a 36.9 per cent increase in ticket sales compared to 2012.
Turkish Airlines’ growth in number of passengers comes at a time when Turkey is enjoying a significant growth in tourism. The country welcomed 10.5 million non-Turkish visitors between January and May 2013, an 18.5 per cent year-on-year increase, according to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
According to recent Turkish Statistical Institute statistics, Turkey earned 13.5 billion lira (approx. $6.9 billion) from tourism in the first six months of the year, representing a 28.4 per cent year-on-year rise. Foreign visitors to Turkey constituted 84.6 per cent of arrivals in the country between January-June, spending an average of $817 per head.
Part of this growth is attributed to business travelers as Turkey becomes a worldwide hub for international business with many ambitious projects underway.
“Turkey’s large-scale infrastructure projects, such as Istanbul’s third bridge, third airport and Kanal Istanbul, are important indicators of the stability and confidence in the future of our country,” states Hüseyin Avni Mutlu, Mayor of Istanbul.
Located on the crossroads of Anatolia in Western Asia and Southeastern Europe and bordering eight countries, Turkey’s is one of the world’s top travel destinations, with Istanbul now a major hub for international travel.
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