Encouraging news is coming through for tourism in Turkey for 2018. Recent information is that 35 million tourists are expected to land on Turkish soil for their holidays next year, putting an end to the worry tourists had about visiting Turkey.
Data released on the 29th November by the Tourism Ministry showed the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey rose by 28% from January to October of this year, reaching 29 million, which was mainly due to an ongoing upsurge in the Russian market.
The Head of The Hoteliers Federations of Turkey (TÜROFED) Osman Ayık said both the number of foreign arrivals into Turkey and the country’s tourism revenue would return to the “good old days” soon, following a series of decisions taken at a key sector council meeting in November by sector players and government officials.
“As long as Turkey does not witness any terror attack or crises, we expect a significant increase in the number of foreign tourists visiting our country. Both the private sector and the Culture and Tourism Ministry have worked vigorously to achieve this goal,” Osman Ayık told state-run Anadolu Agency on the 12th December. “The sector will likely close this year with nearly 29 million foreign tourists. Our expectation for the next year is to host more than 35 million foreign tourists,” he added.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey saw a sharp decline to 25.3 million in 2016, which is down from 36.2 million in the previous year. This was after a series of terror attacks, plus the failed coup attempt and a diplomatic crisis with Russia, These complications saw a knock on effect to Turkey’s tourism revenue in 2016 to $22.11 billion, down from $31.46 billion in 2015.
Osman Ayık also said that 2017 was a year of recovery for the Turkish tourism sector with more than $20 billion in earnings in the first nine months of the year. In excess of 4.5 million Russians visited Turkey in January to October of this year, showing a 496% year-on-year increase, as the mutual ties between Turkey and Russia have become calm again after the jet crisis.
“However, we have not reached the desired numbers regarding Germany, which was long our number one tourism market. We have even seen a further decline in the number of arrivals from this key market,” Osman Ayık said, adding that the sector needs to place a special emphasis on the German market, as its loss has created a spillover effect in neighbouring markets.
All in all, it’s very good news for Turkey as confidence in the tourism sector is returning after a difficult time during the last year. The flight companies are aiding the upturn in numbers visiting with extra flights planned which will start early in the season in March due to Easter being early in 2018, huge increases in extra seats and new destinations being added all help the tourism sector recovery. Let’s hope holidaymakers and tourists put Turkey back amongst the top holiday destinations.