Turkey’s foreign tourist arrivals up 16% y/y in August

Turkey’s foreign tourist arrivals up 16% y/y in August
By bne IntelliNews September 30, 2018

Turkey’s foreign tourist arrivals rose by 16% y/y to 5.38mn in August, data from the culture and tourism ministry showed on September 27.

Across January-August, the number increased by 23% y/y to 27mn.

Tourism revenues increased by 30% y/y to $7.04bn in the second quarter after rising 31% y/y to $4.43bn in the first quarter, according to the latest data from national statistics office TUIK.

Overall revenues across the first half rose by 31% y/y to $11.5bn.

The average expenditure of visitors rose to $636 per capita in Q2 from $601 a year ago.

In the first quarter, the average expenditure increased to $723 from $696 a year ago.

The average expenditure of visitors fell to $681 per capita in 2017 from $705 in 2016.

Turkey will see 40mn foreign visitors this year, while tourism income will climb to more than $30bn, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TURSAB) president Firuz Baglikaya said in April.

The government expects foreign tourist arrivals to rise to 37mn-38mn in 2018, generating revenue of $30bn. It also predicts more than 6mn Russian and more than 5mn German tourists will visit Turkey in 2018.

Foreign tourist arrivals rose by 28% y/y to 32.4mn in the full year of 2017, beating the government's expectation of 31.4mn. The number of Russian tourists increased to 4.72mn from only 0.87mn in 2016 thanks to the resetting of relations between Ankara and Moscow.

In 2017, 3.5mn German tourists visited Turkey, down from 3.9mn in 2016. The corresponding figure was 5.5mn in 2015.

Russia imposed a ban on charter flights to Turkey after the downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November 2015 and the number of foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey subsequently shrank by 30% y/y to 25.4mn in 2016.

Also taking a toll on arrivals were security concerns following the attempted coup in 2016 and a wave of terrorist attacks in that year. Turkey ended its two-year-long state of emergency in July this year.

Turkey’s tourism revenues increased by 19% y/y to $26.2bn in 2017, in parallel with the government’s expectation of $26bn. Hotels and resorts have used heavy discounting to bring back the tourists lost amid Turkey’s troubles.

More than 6.5mn Turkish citizens living abroad visited Turkey last year, bringing in more than $5.9bn. That corresponded to some 23.5% of the country’s overall tourism revenues. Turks living abroad spent $903 per capita on average during their stay in Turkey in 2017, $75 higher compared to the previous year.