Foreign arrivals, tourism revenues in Turkey rose last year

Foreign arrivals, tourism revenues in Turkey rose last year

Foreign arrivals, tourism revenues in Turkey rose last year

The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey increased by a strong 21.84 percent to a total of 39.5 million people in 2018, the country’s Culture and Tourism Ministry announced on Jan. 31.

Istanbul, Turkey’s world-famous touristic city, was the top destination with 13.4 million tourists, accounting for 34 percent of all foreign visitors.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed Istanbul with 12.4 million foreign visitors in 2018.

Last year, nearly 6 million Russians visited Turkey, a 26.5 percent increase from 2017, while the number of German tourists rose by 25.9 percent on an annual basis to 4.5 million. The third largest group was Bulgarians: visits from this country were up 28.8 percent to 2.4 million. In 2018, a total of 2.25 million Britons spent their holiday in Turkey, a 35.9 percent increase from 2017.

Separately, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TÜİK) announced yesterday that the country’s tourism revenue surged 12.3 percent last year to $29.5 billion.

““While 81.8 percent of this income [excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditures] was obtained from foreign visitors, 18.2 percent was obtained from citizens residing abroad,” TÜİK said.

“In this year, while individual expenditures constituted $22.5 billion of the total tourism income, $6.9 billion of tourism income was obtained by package tour expenditures,” it added.

Average expenditure per capita was $647 in 2018, as foreigners spent $617 per capita and Turkish citizens spent $801 per capita.

Visitors spent most for food and beverage in 2018 - foreigners with around $4.38 billion and Turkish visitors with $1.55 billion, according to the data.

Foreigners spent some $2.7 billion on clothes and shoes, and $966 million on souvenirs in addition to nearly $77 million on carpets and rugs.

In 2018, the number of Turkish citizens visited abroad decreased by 5.7 percent compared to the previous year and reached 8.38 million while their average expenditure was $584 per capita.

Turkish tourism,