Russian tourist arrivals into Turkey skyrocket by 1.384 percent in May
ANKARA/ISTANBULThe number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey soared by 1.384 percent in May compared to the same month last year, pushing up total foreign arrivals to the country, official data showed on June 29.
According to data released by the Tourism Ministry, 608,472 Russians visited Turkey in May, even higher than pre-jet crisis figures back in May 2015, thanks to the normalization in bilateral ties between Ankara and Moscow.
The number of foreign arrivals into Turkey surged by 16.3 percent to 2.89 million in May, after a tough year in which the country’s tourism sector was hit badly due to a series of bomb attacks, a diplomatic crisis with Russia and a failed coup attempt.
Arrivals from Europe, however, continued to decline in May, as around 1.1 million Europeans visited Turkey in May, marking a year-on-year decrease of around 20 percent, the ministry data showed.
In the first five months of the year, a total of 8.8 million foreigners visited Turkey, a 5.5 percent increase compared to the same period of 2016.
In May, Russia became the top tourist market for Turkey, with a 21 percent share in total arrivals. Russia was followed by Germany, which took 10.2 percent share in total arrivals, and Georgia, which had an 8.1 percent share.
They were followed by Britain and Bulgaria, according to the ministry data.
In May, the number of arrivals from Germany, once Turkey’s top tourism market, saw a 31 percent year-on-year decrease, falling to 295,007.
Hotel occupancy rates across Turkey also surged to 61.5 percent in May with an 8.3 percent year-on-year increase, according to STR Global data released by TÜROB on June 24. However, revenue from these arrivals fell in the same period.
The occupancy rates rose to 55.4 percent in the first five months of the year, with a 6.3 percent year-on-year increase, but hotel revenues fell as average hotel room prices plummeted by 23 percent to 60.1 euros.
In May, hotel occupancy rates in Istanbul rose by 15.7 percent to 64.4 percent, but the city’s hotels remained the cheapest in Europe.