Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey rise nearly 30 pct in 2017
The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey rose 28 percent in the first 10 months of the year, hitting 29 million, mainly due to an ongoing rebound in the Russian market, data from Turkey’s Tourism Ministry showed on Nov. 29.
The number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey surged 22.2 percent in October to 2.99 million, the data also showed.
More than 4.5 million Russians visited Turkey in the first 10 months of the year with a 496 percent year-on-year increase, as the bilateral ties between the two countries have normalized after a jet crisis.
The number of Russian tourists who visited Turkey was 767,000 in the January - October period of 2016.
The Russian arrivals in Turkey also almost doubled in October, hitting 442,970, according to the ministry.
In the first 10 months of 2017, a total of 17.6 million Europeans visited Turkey with a nearly 1.6 percent year-on-year decrease, according to the ministry.
Russia thus became the top tourism market for Turkey by taking a 15.7-percent share in total arrivals in the first 10 months of the year, followed by Germany and Iran, which took 11.5 percent and 7.3 percent of share, respectively. Georgia and the United Kingdom ranked fourth and fifth in the top five list.
Regarding the October data, the top five senders for Turkey’s tourism sector ranked the same: Russia, Germany, Iran, Georgia and the U.K.
Amid a series of bomb attacks, a failed coup attempt and the diplomatic crisis with Russia, the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey plummeted to 25.3 million in 2016 from 36.2 million in the previous year.
These negativities slashed Turkey’s tourism revenues in 2016 to $22.11 billion from $31.46 billion in 2015.
Numbers turned around in April, thanks to the surge in the number of Russian tourists, and data for the third quarter of 2017 showed a rebound of nearly 40 percent year-on-year.