Turkey draws nearly 25 mln foreign visitors in 7 months

Turkey draws nearly 25 mln foreign visitors in 7 months

Turkey draws nearly 25 mln foreign visitors in 7 months

Turkey welcomed 24.69 million foreign visitors in the first seven months of this year, according to new Culture and Tourism Ministry data.

The number of foreigners visiting the country rose 14.1 percent in January-July from the previous year, according to the data released yesterday.

The historical metropolis of Istanbul remained Turkey’s top tourist draw, attracting 34.2 percent of all visitors - around 8.4 million.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed with 31.8 percent, or over 7.85 million foreign visitors, in the same period.

Edirne, in northwestern Turkey, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, received the third-highest number of foreigners, with 2.5 million during the first seven months.

Occupancy rates

Another statistical research conducted by data analysis company STR for the Hotel Association of Turkey (TÜROB) showed a slight increase in the occupancy rates of the hotels.

The occupancy rate at the five-star hotels across Turkey was 76.1 in July, with an increase of 2.1 percent compared with the same month of last year.

The average room price at the five-star Turkish hotels, excluding early bookings, increased 14 percent in July, hitting 100 euros (around $112 during July).

In Istanbul, the occupancy rate was 82.8 percent and the average daily rate for room prices was around 103 euros.

The occupancy rate in Antalya was flat around 76.5 percent, however, average daily room prices increased 22.1 percent annually to 172 euros.

In European destinations, the occupancy rate was around 79 percent and the price for a room per night was 120 euros on average.

$96-billion contribution

Major research conducted by World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) has revealed travel-tourism was the fastest growing sector in Turkey last year at 15 percent, contributing $96 billion to the nation’s economy.

The study compares the industry’s economic impact to eight other key sectors across 26 countries and 10 world regions.

The study report reveals that in Turkey, of the sectors studied and driven by improvements in safety following a difficult period, travel-tourism is the second largest sector in terms of GDP contribution with 12.1 percent, ahead of agriculture (10.2 percent) and financial services (7.8 percent), just behind construction (19.6 percent).

Travel-tourism’s contribution to employment during 2018 was 7.7 percent, ahead of both financial services and banking at 3.3 percent and 2.0 percent, respectively.

“After a difficult period, Turkey is firmly back on the map and is once again attracting millions of international visitors to its shores each year. Travel and tourism is an incredibly important sector in Turkey, not only for its contribution to GDP but also to employment,” said Gloria Guevara, president, and CEO of the WTTC.