Foreign tourist arrivals to Turkey plummet after bomb attacks, Russia crisis and coup attempt
DHA photoThe number of foreign arrivals to Turkey plunged more than 30 percent in the first seven months of the year, official data showed on Aug. 31, as tensions with Russia, a series of deadly bombings and the July 15 failed coup attempt kept tourists away.
Foreign tourist arrivals fell 30.3 percent in the first seven months of the year, with 14.2 million people arriving during the period, data from the Tourism Ministry showed. The number of Russians visiting the country in this period showed an 89 percent decrease compared to the same period of 2015. Visitors from western European countries also decreased an average of 40 percent in the mentioned period, as well as arrivals from the United States and Canada.
Foreign arrivals declined 36.7 percent to around 3.5 million July, normally the hottest tourism month in Turkey, with Russian tourists declining 93 percent to around 47,000 compared to the same month of 2015.
Tourism was hit hard by tensions with Moscow after Turkey shot down a Russian jet over the Syrian border last year, although both countries have started to ease tensions in recent weeks. In line with a number of moves to ease tensions, Russia lifted the ban on charter flights to Turkey as of Sept. 3.
Turkish tourism players voiced their hopes to recover around 15 percent of the losses in their tourism income from the Russian market in the upcoming period.
Germany still largest market
The number of arrivals from Germany also dropped by 25.6 percent in the first seven months of the year and from Britain by 29.2 percent, to around 2.1 million and 970,000, respectively.
The highest number of foreign arrivals was again from Germany in this period, followed by Georgia with 1.2 million visitors and Iran with 993,000 visitors.
The highest number of foreign visitors in July was seen from Germany with 660,532 arrivals, followed by Britain with 277,857 visitors and Georgia with 210,105 visitors, according to the ministry’s data.
Hotel occupancy rates saw a dramatic decline across Turkey in July amid a number of problems, with Istanbul suffering the most and the Mediterranean resort of Antalya feeling some relief thanks to local tourists, a leading tourism association said in a written statement on Aug. 30.
Hotel occupancy rates across Turkey saw a 33.5 percent decline in July compared to the same month of 2015, falling to 41.5 percent, said the Turkish Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TÜROB), in line with data from STR Global.
Istanbul’s hotel occupancy rates dropped to 36.8 percent in July, a 40.6 percent decrease from the same month of 2015.
Hotel occupancy rates in Antalya regressed to 60.3 percent in July, a 21.9 percent decline from the same month of 2015, mainly thanks to the flock to local tourists rather than foreign tourists, showed the data.