Rebound in tourism activity boosts investments

Rebound in tourism activity boosts investments

Rebound in tourism activity boosts investments

Investments in the tourism sector have gathered momentum after the industry saw a strong rebound in activity, according to a report by the Hotel Association of Türkiye (TÜROB)

In the first six months of 2022, applications filed for incentives worth a total of 7.55 billion Turkish Liras, up 640 percent from a year ago, for 75 projects with 14,400 beds capacity.

Those investments are expected to create 4,400 new jobs.

“This is a welcome development. However, most preferred locations for planned new investments are major tourist destinations, such as Antalya and Istanbul. For tourism to become sustainable, investments should spread to all provinces,” commented Müberra Eresin, chair of TÜROB.

Additional incentives should be offered for investments in Anatolian provinces, she added.

Funds and local investors are well aware of the huge potential in the sector, according to Mehmet İşler from the Aegean Touristic Enterprises and Accommodations Union (ETİK).

İşler agreed that tourism should become a year-long business with health tourism in winter months.

If tourism activities diversity, Türkiye may attract as many as 100 million visitors by 2030, he said.

Reservations are strong, the industry is recovering from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, stated Hediye Güral Gül from the Turkish Tourism Investors’ Association (TTYD) chair Oya Narin has said.

Demand from Europe for Türkiye holidays is particularly strong, added Narin, who is also board chair of NG Hotels.

Like Eresin, Narin said that tourism investments must increase not only in Istanbul and Antalya but in other parts of the country.

According to the TÜROB report on investment incentives in the tourism sector, in the first half of 2022, new investments were planned in 30 provinces, with the province of Muğla and Istanbul taking the lead with nine projects each.

Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, followed those two provinces with eight projects. Some six projects were planned for the western province of Çanakkale and four in İzmir, the country’s third largest city.

Investment incentive applications were filed for 11 five-star hotel projects with a total of 5,700 bed capacity. Investors are also planning to undertake 26 projects to develop three-star hotels. Investors also sought incentives for 18 projects for four-star hotels with 4,400 bed capacity.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy, who had stated that the target for 2022 was 42 million tourists and $35 billion in revenue, later revised up the target to 47 million tourists, with a total revenue of $37 billion.

From January to June, 16.4 million foreign tourists visited Türkiye, up 186 percent from a year ago. In June alone, the number of foreign tourists visiting the country grew 145 percent year-on-year to more than 5 million.