The popularity of Turkey as a holiday destination has been soaring. Not only have the numbers been increasing amongst the traditional groups of tourists, but the British have been coming too.
British tourism underwent a serious facelift last year: destinations changed, Britain itself became more popular and places, which used to be mentioned just briefly in British travel agencies, are now on the tip of almost everybody’s tongue. As Brits desperately tried to avoid the Euro zone, new destinations made the pound stretch a lot further. If budget airlines had been so popular 15 years ago, countries such as Turkey would surely have become prominent much earlier. The distance from Britain is greater but tourists are basically getting similar beaches, cultural experiences and exciting cuisine for much less cash.
According to the Turkish Ministry of Culture, UK tourists are now the third largest group to visit Turkey, after the Germans and Russians. Many Germans come there to visit family but Russians travel to Turkey because it is close and because of the friendly relations between the two countries in recent history. This makes the British share in Turkish tourism even more impressive. Britons now make up 11.86% of tourists in Turkey.
However, it is not all good news for the Turks, as fears have been raised about the effects of beach tourism on the country’s cultural status. Most of the Brits coming to Turkey nowadays are more interested in sunbathing than strolling around ancient sights. The all-inclusive system has been heavily criticized, leaving tourists with no choice than to follow the instructions of agencies and ignore cultural attractions.