Türkiye expects to have 19 mln tourists in first half of year

Türkiye expects to have 19 mln tourists in first half of year

Türkiye expects to have 19 mln tourists in first half of year

The number of foreign tourists visiting Türkiye will reach 19 million people as of end-June, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has said.

“Data for the first six months of this year and reservations are very encouraging. Our growth target for 2022 is at least 40 percent,” Ersoy said at a meeting in the southern province of Antalya’s Serik district, recalling that foreign tourist arrivals in the country increased by 90 percent.

The minister noted that campaigns aimed at promoting Türkiye have been launched in 200 countries and advertisement deals have been signed with around 170 tour operations from 43 countries.

As part of those efforts, around 3,000 people, including journalists, officials from tour operators, and influencers have been hosted in the country, according to Ersoy.

“We will probably have welcomed 19 million foreign tourists as of end-June,” the minister said.

He noted that foreign tourist arrivals in Türkiye grew 90 percent last year from 2020 thanks to the Safe Tourism Certificate program.

Hygiene standards set in the certificate program for tourism facilities are now permanent, Ersoy said.

The minister previously said Türkiye aims to host 42 million tourists and generate $35 billion in tourism revenues in 2022.

Some 24.7 million foreign tourists visited the country last year, up from 12.7 million in 2020. In 2019, more than 45 million foreign holidaymakers vacationed in Türkiye.

The country’s tourism revenues soared more than 100 percent in 2021 compared with 2020 to stand at $24.5 billion.

The latest data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry showed that some 7.5 million foreign tourists visited Türkiye in January-April this year, rising nearly 172 percent from the same period of last year.

In April alone, foreign tourist arrivals soared 226 percent on an annual basis to 2.6 million people.

At the start of the year, hoteliers were hopeful that more tourists would visit Türkey this year as many countries relaxed COVID-19-related travel restrictions which hindered global tourism activity. But, the Russian invasion of Ukraine caused concerns as Türkiye is a major holiday destination for Russian and Ukrainians.

“Russian tourist arrivals remained almost unchanged from 2019, but the number of Ukrainian tourists declined more than 95 percent,” said Ömer Faruk Dengiz, chair of the Bodrum Hoteliers’ Association (BODER), last week, assessing the tourism activity in the resort town in the southwestern province of Muğla.

Tourist arrivals from the U.K. rose by 19.3 percent from May 2021, while the increase for Irish tourists was 105 percent, he noted

The world’s leading hotel and restaurant chains are eyeing investment opportunities in Bodrum, said Ahmet Aras, the mayor of the popular holiday destination.

“Companies, which provide services to superyachts, are also seeking investments in Bodrum,” he added.