Foreign tourist arrivals to Turkey down 5% y/y in June

By bne IntelliNews July 29, 2015

Foreign tourist visits to Turkey declined by 5% y/y to 4.1mn people in June and foreign tourist arrivals decreased by 2% y/y to 14.9mn in H1, the Ministry of Tourism said on July 29.

In H1, tourist visits from Europe rose by 0.68% y/y to 7.62mn, representing a 51.17% share in total visits while the number of German tourists increased 10.95% y/y to 2.11mn. In H1, 5.69mn foreign tourists visited Istanbul, the country’s largest city, representing a 38.2% share in total, while 4.1mn tourists travelled to Turkey’s popular holiday destination Antalya, corresponding to a 27.5% share in total.
Foreign tourist visits to Turkey rose by 5.5% y/y to 36.8mn people in 2014. In the whole of 2013, tourist arrivals had increased by 9.8% y/y to 34.9mn.

Tourism revenues help Turkey finance its large current account deficit. Turkey’s tourism revenues increased by 1.3% y/y to $4.87bn in Q1, the statistics institute (TUIK) said on April 30. The government foresees $31.5bn of tourism revenues this year while its CA deficit projection for 2015 is $46bn or 5.4% of GDP.

Fearing for their safety in Tunisia after a gunman killed dozens of tourists, sun-seeking Europeans are switching to destinations such as Spain, Bulgaria or even Greece for holidays this year, reported Reuters on July 5. Juan Molas, chairman of the Spanish Hotel Federation Cehat, told Reuters that Turkey, which have lost a lot of their customers from Russia due to the economic crisis there, could prove to be popular, good-value alternatives to Spain. However, some industry experts have doubts Turkey could benefit. Experts told the news agency that Westerners staying away from Tunisia for security reasons may be unwilling to switch to countries such as Turkey, which borders war-torn Syria, and Egypt, where there has been social and political unrest in recent years.

A dramatic rise in the number of five-star hotels in Turkey’s biggest cities, especially in Istanbul, has pushed hotels to cut their room prices to remain competitive, but the trend is not sustainable, sector representatives told Hurriyet Daily News last week.

Turkey's Foreign Tourist Arrivals

 

Jun-15

Share (%)

Jun-14

Share (%)

y/y

Germany

 652,703

 15.83

 805,291

 18.58

-18.95%

Russia

 556,649

 13.50

 520,455

 12.01

6.95%

UK

 358,167

 8.69

 359,346

 8.29

-0.33%

Others

 2,555,590

 61.98

 2,649,983

 61.13

-3.56%

TOTAL

 4,123,109

 100.00

 4,335,075

 100.00

-4.89%

 

H1/15

Share (%)

H1/14

Share (%)

y/y

Germany

 2,109,763

 14.16

 1,901,523

 12.48

10.95%

Russia

 1,454,618

 9.77

 1,923,811

 12.62

-24.39%

Bulgaria

 950,313

 6.38

 961,130

 6.31

-1.13%

Others

 10,380,060

 69.69

 10,451,757

 68.59

-0.69%

TOTAL

 14,894,754

 100.00

 15,238,221

 100.00

-2.25%

source: tourism ministry

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