A top Turkish hoteliers association has said around 4 to 6 percent of increase is expected in arrivals from the Middle East to Turkey over this year, particularly ahead of and after the holy month of Ramadan.
In a written statement on May 5, the Hotels Association of Turkey (TÜROB) said there is demand especially for health tourism from the region.
While the share of Middle Eastern tourists in Turkey’s total number of tourists was 10 percent in 2010, it rose to 21.4 percent in 2016, according to TÜROB.
However, the number of arrivals for health tourism decreased to around 2.5 million last year from more than 3.5 million in 2015, with a 62 year-on-year decrease in Iraqi tourists visiting Turkey and a 26 percent decrease in Qatari tourists.
TÜROB said the number of bomb attacks and political events in Turkey created negative perceptions on the region. “We have seen a great potential demand from this market for Turkey’s health, wellness and plastic surgery tourism. Promotional campaigns in these areas should get a boost,” it said.
Despite positive expectations looming over the market, TÜROB noted a shift in the trend from the U.A.E. and Turkey to Azerbaijan
The association expects a rise in demand from Iranian, Israeli and Saudi Arabian markets over this year. A boost in arrivals is also expected from Lebanon, Jordan, Qatar and Bahrain, but some decrease is estimated in tourists from Iraq, Libya and Egypt as well as the U.A.E.
According to TÜROB, arrivals from the Israeli market saw a 31 percent year-on-year increase in 2016.