Turkey’s tourist profile changing

Turkey’s tourist profile changing

ANKARA - Anatolia News Agency
Turkey’s tourist profile changing

Tourists from the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Far East and the Americas are increasing yearly as Turkey becomes a top destination for tourist activities. Last year’s 11-month tourist figures increased by 10.18 percent to 30.26 million. DHA photo

Turkey continues to claim an ever-bigger slice of the tourism pie but the general profile of the visitors coming to the country is changing as it does so.

Tourists from the Balkans, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, the Far East and the Americas are increasing yearly as Turkey becomes a top destination for tourist activities.

Although Turkey has famously begun attracting more Arab tourists since the country began exporting its soap operas to the Middle East, there was also a rise in the number of visitors from the Philippines, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Norway in the first 11 months of 2011.

Last year’s 11-month tourist figures increased by 10.18 percent to 30.26 million, Anatolia news agency reported, noting that most visitors entered the country through Antalya, Istanbul and Muğla.

Between January and November, German tourists visited Turkey most, typically in search of sun, sea and sand. Between January and November 2010, 4.23 million Germans visited Turkey; in 2011, this figure was 4.67 million.

Russia provided the second-highest number of tourists. While Turkey hosted 2.64 million Russian tourists in 2009, over 3 million came the following year while 3.42 million visited the country in the first 11 months of 2011.

The United Kingdom was third in the numbers, while Iran, Bulgaria, the Netherlands, France, Georgia, Syria and the United States rounded off the top 10.

In terms of percentages in November, Germany, Bulgaria and Iran sent the highest number of tourists to Turkey.

Increase from European countries

According to the statistics, in the first 11 months of 2011, Northern and Central European countries sent greater numbers of tourists to Turkey.

In 2010, there was a 31.25 percent increase in the number of Finnish tourists to Turkey, which was mirrored by a 28.81 percent rise from its neighbor Sweden.

Some 172,329 Czechs came in 2010, although this number increased last year to 220,843.

The increase in health and hot spring tourism also affected the tourist profile and the figure, drawing visitors especially from Norway. Some 294,697 Norwegian tourists visited Turkey for health tourism in 2010, while 371,365 visited in 2011, representing a 26.02 percent increase.

The number of visitors from Slovakia also rose 33.52 percent between 2010 and 2011.

Another significant increase was seen in the tourist figures from Malta, which rose by 75.51 percent in 2011 over the previous year.

In 2010, Turkey also hosted more tourists from the U.S. Some 619,000 Americans came in 2010, while 733,193 came last year, good for an 18.45 percent rise.

There was also an increase in the number of Argentinean, Brazilian, Colombian and Chilean tourists visiting in 2011.

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