The Turkish tourism industry has had a hard time in recent year. Especially numbers from the most important source market – Russia – decreased significantly. In 2017, however, there was an apparent turnaround.
Until recently diplomatic relations between Moscow and Ankara were reserved. But relations have improved again. In 2017, 4.72 million Russians visited the country – five times more than the year before. Accordingly, the revenues of the Turkish tourism industry increased by almost a fifth to the equivalent of $26 billion.
In 2016, the Turks shot down a Russian jet over Syria which created tensions between the countries. Since then, however, relations have improved after an apology from Ankara.
Overall, the number of foreign visitors in Turkey increase by 27.8% to 32.4 million last year. Most tourists came from Russia, Iran and Germany.
Only a few days ago, the German Tourism Association announced that Turkey is becoming popular again as a holiday destination among the citizens. The number of travel bookings for the current year have increased, according to early data from tour operator TUI, by 70%.
Recently, German tourists had been avoiding Turkey. There was great fear of terror attacks and the diplomatic relations between Ankara and Berlin were not ideal. This caused a collapse in bookings. In the past two years, 3.76 and 3.45 million Germans visited Turkey from January to November. In contrast, in 2015 it was 5.4 million, according to the Turkish Institute of Statistics.