Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey soar nearly 50 percent in August amid big demand from Russia
Foreign arrivals into Turkey hit 4.6 million in August, with a 46.4 percent year-on-year increase, mainly thanks to rising demand from Russia, official data showed on Sept. 29.
Nearly 22 million foreigners visited Turkey in the first eight months of the year, with a 26.4 percent increase compared to the same period of 2016, according to data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
Turkey’s tourism sector has recently rebounded after a year of steep losses, when it was hit by a diplomatic crisis with Russia, a series of bomb attacks, and a failed military coup attempt.
Normalization in bilateral ties between Turkey and Russia and a visible easing in security concerns have helped the sector rebound.
The number of arrivals from Russia rose to 805,848 in August, with a more than 670.7 percent year-on-year increase, according to Tourism Ministry data.
In the first eight months of the year, a total of 3.3 million Russians visited Turkey, with an 891.6 percent year-on-year increase. The number of Russians who visited Turkey in the same period of 2016 was 336,165.
There was also a recovery in arrivals from Europe, as more than 1.8 million Europeans visited Turkey in August with a nearly 8.2 percent year-on-year increase. Turkey saw a significant plunge in arrivals from Europe in 2016.
Russia thus became the top market for Turkey’s tourism both in August and in the first eight months of the year, followed by Germany.
In August, Russians ranked in first place by taking a share of 17.3 percent in total arrivals, followed by Germany with 12.3 percent and Iran with 6.4 percent. The U.K. and Georgia followed them.
In the first eight months of the year, the top markets Russia and Germany were followed by Georgia, which took a 7.2 percent share in total arrivals.
Overall foreign arrivals into Turkey, which were announced 36.8 million and 36.2 million in 2014 and 2015 respectively, plunged to 25.3 million in 2016.
Hotel occupancy rates strongly rebounding
Hotel occupancy rates, another key tourism indicator, also gave good signals, hitting 75.3 percent in August in a 40.5 percent year-on-year increase, a leading sector association announced, based on STR Global data.
Hotel occupancy rates therefore surpassed August 2015 figures, which were at 72.9 percent, and making Turkey reach the highest growth rate in this area among all European destinations, according to the Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB).
Despite Turkey’s hotel revenues remaining the lowest in Europe, slight increases started to be seen in the summer months, it added.
While the Average Daily Rate (ADR) was 87.1 euros in Turkey’s hotels in August 2016, this rate rose to 88.9 euros in the same month of 2017.
Revenue per Room (RevPAR) also rose to 67 euros in August 2017 from 46.7 euros in the same month of 2016, according to the TÜROB statement.