Iranian travelers flock to Istanbul, Van for Nevruz holiday

Iranian travelers flock to Istanbul, Van for Nevruz holiday

Iranian travelers flock to Istanbul, Van for Nevruz holiday

Iranian holidaymakers will flock to Turkey during the Nevruz holiday, Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) President Timur Bayındır said in a statement, adding that Istanbul and the eastern province of Van will be their favorite destinations.

The Nevruz holiday, which started on March 21, will last until the beginning of April.

“A total of 250,000 Iranian tourists visited Turkey during the month of March in 2017. One-third of those Iranian tourists spent their vacation in Istanbul and Van was another popular destination among Iranian holidaymakers. We expect around a 10-15 percent increase in the number of Iranian tourists visiting Turkey during the Nevruz holiday this year,” Bayındır added.

Visits by Iranian vacationers will boost occupancy rates in hotels, located in Istanbul’s Taksim and Sultanahmet districts, while almost all hotels in Van will be at full capacity, according to Bayındır.

The TÜROB head, however, noted that demand from Iranian tourists for the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya and Turkey’s coastal regions has declined.

High-spending Iranian tourists

Iranians spend six nights in Turkey and spend $1,000 per person on average, versus $630 other foreign tourists spend per capita, Bayındır said, adding that they visit Turkey for shopping, business and vacation purposes.

Bayındır expects the number of Iranian tourists visiting Turkey to increase this year, unless unfavorable developments that might affect the tourism market occur.

A total of 2.5 million Iranians visited Turkey last year, a 50 percent increase from 2016, making the country the top destination for Iranian holidaymakers.

Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city, hosted 910,810 Iranian vacationers in 2017 versus 648,176 in the previous year.

As for the Aegean province of İzmir, the country’s third largest city, Iranian’s share in the total number of foreign tourists visiting the city was 10 percent in 2017, according to Prof. Dr. Orhan İçöz, the head of the department of tourism guidance at Yaşar University.

Iranians constituted the second largest group in 2017, while they were the 15th largest group in 2012, İçöz said, adding that 76,462 Iranian nationals visited İzmir last year.

According to the latest official data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry released on Feb. 28, Iran was the top tourist market for Turkey in January, with 154,296 people from Iran visiting the country in the month.

Iranians took a nearly 11 percent of share in the total foreign arrivals in the first month of the year.

Nearly 1.5 million foreigners visited Turkey in January, marking a 39 percent year-on-year increase.