Turkish tourism suffered a decay in the last couple of years due to various reasons – terrorism, political instability, and disputes. Now, the industry is set for a revival in the future, with 2017 showing very positive numbers.
One of the reasons for the positive changes is also the weak Lira, especially as competing holidaymakers have become significantly more expensive.
According to the Association of Tour Operators of Russia, 17.3 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in the past 7 months. 14.59% of these were Russians, 11.13% Germans, 7.73% Georgians, 7.28% Iranians and Bulgarians represented 5.61%.
The positive numbers with regards to Russian tourists are a result of improvement of political ties between the two countries. Turkish tourism suffered huge losses because of this political tension, as Russia cancelled all charter flights to Turkey. Among other factors influencing the inflow were obviously also last year’s coup as well as terror attacks.
However, now the situation looks to have calmed down. 2.5 million Russian tourists arrived in Turkey from January to July this year. This is 11 times higher than in the same period last year. One of the reasons are also attractive prices. For example, a week trip for two with a flight, transfer and all-inclusive accommodation can be purchased for less than 16 thousand rubles (232 euros).
Meanwhile Germany, as one of the main Turkish source markets, is also showing positive figures, despite the public advice of Federal Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel not to travel to Turkey. It is true that booking figures are currently behind those of previous years. However, in May, June and July, the association recorded a significant increase in travel to Turkey. This is mainly due to last-minute bookings.
Even the largest German travel company Tui confirmed a positive trend in bookings since June. At the moment, Turkey is one of the most popular last-minute destinations. Overall, the booking figures cannot compete with previous years, but there is still a positive trend. In 2015, 5.6 million German travellers visited Turkey, while in 2016 the number was 4 million.
Particularly July showed a very strong increase in visitor numbers. The number of foreign tourists in Turkey in July increased by almost 50% and 5.1 million, as the Ministry of Tourism announced. This is the strongest growth in 13 years. Though, it must be taken with caution, as the previous year was very weak.