January brings 18th consecutive decline in Turkey's tourist figures

By bne IntelliNews February 28, 2017

The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey declined by 10% y/y to 1.17mn in January, data from the tourism ministry showed on February 28. Stretching back to July 2015, the arrivals figure has now fallen for 18 months in a row.

Turkey’s tourism industry saw a sharp reduction in visiting foreign holidaymakers and tourist revenues last year in the face of heightened domestic security risks posed by waves of terrorism and geopolitical tensions.

The International Monetary Fund estimated on February 23 that the dramatic decline in foreign tourist arrivals experienced by Turkey sliced one percentage point of GDP off the country's economic growth last year. The IMF calculates that for Turkey a 10% decline in foreign arrivals translates into a 0.3-0.5 percent fall in GDP.

The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey fell by 30% y/y to 25.35mn in 2016. That followed the 1.61% y/y drop to 36.24mn in 2015 from 36.84mn in 2014. Turkey’s foreign visitor revenues declined by 33% y/y to $22.1bn in 2016 from $31.5bn in 2015. Turkey depends on revenues generated by its key tourism industry to plug its chronic current account deficit.

The industry saw its biggest ever fall in foreign visits in June 2016 when tourist arrivals collapsed 41% y/y.

Where Turkey's Foreign Tourists Hailed From
  Jan-17 Share (%) Jan-16 Share (%) y/y
Georgia 140,988 13.36 113,582 9.71 24.13%
Iran 101,636 9.63 92,260 7.88 10.16%
Germany 78,750 7.46 114,208 9.76 -31.05%
Bulgaria 77,879 7.38 98,800 8.44 -21.18%
Russia 40,124 3.8 22,106 1.89 81.51%
Others 616,097 58.37 729,377 62.32 -15.53%
Total 1,055,474 100 1,170,333 100 -9.81%
source: tourism ministry

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