Double-digit growth in 2018: Turkey welcomes 39.5M foreign tourists, generates $29.5B in revenues

In 2018, Turkey welcome 39.5 million foreign tourists as business revenues surged to $29.5 billion.

Enjoying a boom within the arrivals of foreign guests, Turkey has seen a double-digit increase in each the quantity of foreign tourists and business financial gain in 2018.

The country welcome 39.5 million foreign guests last year, a 21.84 % increase year-on-year, said the Culture and Tourism Ministry, whereas the national statistics disclosed that the country's business financial gain surged 12.3 % to $29.5 billion.

In his keynote address at the 23rd Eastern Mediterranean International Tourism and Travel Fair (EMITT), one of the biggest Tourism fairs within the world started at the TÜYAP Fair and Congress Centre, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy aforementioned the government has revised the 2023 targets to 70 million tourists and $70 billion in financial gain.

Speaking of the 2018 data information declared by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat), Ersoy aforementioned the overall range of tourists that visited Turkey last year reached 46.1 million, out of that 6.6 million were Turkish visitors residing abroad. The figure corresponded to 18.1 % increase from the previous year.

Istanbul, Turkey's world-famous touristic city, was the highest destination with 13.4 million tourists, accounting for 34 % of all foreign guests, whereas the Mediterranean resort town Antalya, followed İstanbul with 12.4 million foreign guests in 2018.

Russia was the highest country with 5.96 million guests last year, accounting for 15.1 % of all foreign guests visited Turkey. Russia was followed by Germany (4.51 million visitors), Bulgaria (2.38 million visitors), the U.K. (2.25 million visitors) and Georgia (2.07 million visitors).

Last year, the most preferred transportation was air, delivery in over 30 million foreign guests. Nearly 8.5 million and over 988,700 guests used roadways-railways and seaways, as well.

The annual tourism revenue, that surged by 12.3 % last year, up from $26.3 billion within the previous year, TurkStat aforementioned, "While 81.8 % of this financial gain [excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditures] was obtained from foreign guests, 18.2 % was obtained from citizens residing abroad."

It also stated that in the same period, whereas individual expenditures implanted $22.5 billion of total tourism financial gain, $6.9 billion of tourism financial gain was obtained from circuit expenditures.

According to official information, average expenditure per capita was $647 in 2018, as foreigners spent $617 per capita and Turkish voters spent $801 per capita.

TurkStat stated, guests spent most on food and beverages in 2018 − foreigners with around $4.38 billion and Turkish guests with $1.55 billion. Foreigners spent some $2.7 billion on outfits and shoes, and $966 million on souvenirs additionally to almost $77 million on carpets and rugs.

The primary visiting purpose of foreigners was "travel, fun, sports and cultural activities" with 60.5 percent, as their prime accommodation selection was hotels/motels with over 36 million overnights.

The primary travel reason for Turkish guests residing abroad was "visiting relatives and friends" with 50.4 percent, whereas they principally most well-liked apart homes throughout their visits in Turkey with 17 million overnights.

Government targets qualified tourists

In his speech at the convention, Culture and Tourism Minister Ersoy stated, the per capita financial gain within the sector was recorded as $647 in 2018 compared to $681 achieved in 2017, noting that even if it's an important information, it ought to be taken in a different view with the addition of a new figure. Focusing on the importance of night per capita financial gain, Ersoy aforementioned this figure was $63.2 in 2017. "Although it'll be proclaimed on Feb 27, the estimated night per capita financial gain in 2018 was $66.5. This figure began to improve this year," he added.

Touching on the target of seventy million tourists and $70 billion in financial gain, the minister aforementioned to realize $70 billion in financial gain, it's necessary to extend the per capita financial gain by 50 % by 2023. "In doing therefore, we have to move from quantity-based business to qualified tourists, that means tourists with high non-accommodation spending," he continued. "Because it's not quite possible to realize a 50 % increase in per capita financial gain solely by increasing accommodation financial gain. we want to diversify and increase our non-accommodation financial gain yet."

Underlining that the angle toward tourism should be modified within the initial place to realize the target of qualified tourists, he also pointed to the importance of prioritizing revenue-oriented tourism instead of cost-oriented, yet as demand-oriented tourism instead of supply-oriented.

Ersoy aforementioned Turkey's archaeologic, cultural values, arts and artists and wealthy cuisine diversity are important in the tourism conception, wherever these options give unequalled opportunities and probabilities to square out compared to competitive countries, should to be developed. He also stated that the infrastructure required for qualified tourists should be created with human resources as the primary goal.

With regards to the importance of transportation in the sector, Ersoy noted in reference to the protocol they created with the flag carrier Turkish Airlines (THY), they determined to launch scheduled flights to Istanbul, Bodrum, Dalaman, and İzmir airports as of April, primarily from countries providing an oversized range of tourists.


Promotion budgets considerably increased

He also remarked that from this year forward, they're going to offer priority to 12-month tourism within the new tourism areas that they're going to open to allocation.


"We have to introduce our projects for the transition to qualified tourists in Turkey to focus on audiences abroad," he said. "As of 2019, we've considerably raised overseas promotion budgets as state and ministry. In January, we have launched a campaign in magazines, tv programs and digital platforms within the U.K., Germany, the Netherlands, Russia, Ukraine and also the Gulf countries."

Ersoy declared that they're programming to implement the Tourism Development Fund at the earliest convenience after the elections, whisch will be realized on March 31, stressing it's a vital fund – the likes of which are run in several countries around the globe.

Indicating that it's equally vital in terms of continuity, the minister stated the fund's board consists of tourism investors.


Turkey posts highest increase in hotel occupancy rate in Europe

Furthermore, the Turkish Hotel Association (TÜROB) declared that the hotel occupancy rate, revenue per available room (RevPAR) and also the average daily rate (ADR) for rooms increased annually in Turkey last year.

Hotel occupancy rates across the country rose nearly 10 % year-on-year to 66.2% in 2018, consistent with the association's report, supported a survey conducted by information and analysis company STR international.

RevPAR increased to 46.6 euros ($53.5), up 17% whereas ADR for rooms went up 6.6 % to 70.4 euros ($80.9) in the same period of time.

The report showed that Turkey announced the best increase in hotel occupancy rates and RevPAR among European countries. However, it couldn't reach the average for Europe.

In Europe on the average, the hotel occupancy rate was 72.4 % and RevPAR was 114.4 euros ($128) last year, the report declared.

Timur Bayındır, the head of TÜROB, aforementioned the country should target congress tourism so as to boost revenues per available room.

Last Updated: 4/17/2019 2:21:31 PM


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