Turkey becomes top destination for Iranian travelers
The number of Iranian tourists visiting Turkey is expected to continue rising this year, the report said, adding that Turkey may see a strong rise in visits by Iranians particularly in March during the Nevruz holiday in Iran.
Iraq, the United Arab Emirates and Armenia followed Turkey as most popular destinations for Iranians last year.
The report noted that Iranians on average spend six nights in Turkey and spend $1,000 per person versus $630 other foreign tourists spend per capita.
Iranians visit Turkey also for shopping and business purposes.
Since credit cards are not used in Iran, Iranian tourists have to carry considerable amount of cash with them when they travel, the report noted, adding that this limits their expenditure.
TÜROB proposed the introduction of DEBIT cards as a solution to the problem. “Iranians can easily make their payments with DEBIT cards if this payment system is put in place,” the association said.
The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey rose to 32.4 million in 2017 with a 27.8 percent year-on-year increase, data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Jan. 31.
Russia became the top tourist market of Turkey in 2017 with a 14.6 percent share in total arrivals, according to the ministry data. Russia was followed by Germany with nearly 3.6 million visitors and an 11.1 percent share in the total arrivals. Iran became the third market for Turkey’s tourism sector, as 2.5 million Iranians visited Turkey last year. Iran took a 7.7 percent share in total arrivals.