Turkey diversifies tourist markets

Turkey diversifies tourist markets

Burak Coşan-ISTANBUL
Turkey diversifies tourist markets

Turkey has been luring holidaymakers into the country from a wide range of geographical areas, reaching as far as South Korea, China, India and Brazil.

In 2016, the local tourism suffered a sharp decline in the number of foreign tourists visiting the country due to several adverse developments. Tourist arrivals from Russia, Germany and the U.K., which are Turkey’s traditionally largest markets, dropped sharply that year.

At that time officials and people from the industry underlined the need to find new markets to overcome the dependency on certain countries.

Apparently, those efforts designed to find new markets bear fruits.

The latest data show that more and more travelers from diverse nations, which do not traditionally account for the largest number of visitors to Turkey, spend their holiday in the country.

For instance, back in 2017, some 254,000 Poles visited Turkey, whereas this figure soared to 776,000 in January-September this year.

Likewise, the number of South Korean tourists jumped from 88,000 to 154,000.

Turkey, which hosted 57,000 tourists from India in 2017, welcomed as much as 168,000 visitors from this country in the first nine months of this year.

Visits from Mexico and Japan soared 235 percent and 126 percent, to 44,948 and 77,889, respectively.

In 2017, around 36,000 people from Brazil visited Turkey, but the number of Brazilian tourists jumped 117 percent from this year to 77,361 in January-September of 2019.

The number of Chinese visitors soared from 165,000 to 338,000, data also showed.

“The majority of tourists visiting Turkey are from five or six countries. But we have seen a spike in the number of tourists from other nations. The key here is to have more alternative markets,” said Osman Ayık, the head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation.

“Around 3 billion people live in the countries which are only within six hours of flying distance from Turkey. The U.S and Far Eastern countries also represent serious potentials,” Ayık added.