Türkiye on track to meet annual tourism targets
Despite the absence of Russia and Ukraine, Türkiye’s main markets for tourism, the record target is coming step by step thanks to market diversity.
As almost every facility in the coastal cities enjoyed high occupancy rates in July, reservation flows for August also point to a very good month. There are many German and British tourists in various cities, while the tourist flow from Central Europe is also promising.
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.
Turkiye hosted 52 million tourists, 45 million of which were foreign tourists, in 2019, the last pre-pandemic period, with record revenue of $34.5 billion.
Explaining that the past months and future reservations are predicted to bring Türkiye to its goals in tourism, Aegean Touristic Enterprises and Accommodations Union (ETİK) President Mehmet İşler told daily Milliyet that the tourist demand in Türkiye is very high.
“At the beginning of the season, reservations were slow due to the fear of the pandemic and the war in Ukraine,” he said.
“But that could stop us. This interest is an indication that Türkiye’s place in world tourism is irreplaceable and that it can exceed this threshold even in all periods of fragility. According to the current demand, August will be better than July. In domestic tourism, the rate of our guests is in line with expectations, despite the high cost of living.”
İşler added that efforts to diversify markets paid out.
“While Germany and England are in the first place in demand, there is also a serious influx of reservations from the Central European and Iranian markets,” he said. “Tourist diversity is increasing, we are spreading the risk.”
Emphasizing that the bookings in city hotels accelerated as of March, Müberra Eresin, the president of the Turkish Hoteliers Association (TÜROB), stated that the occupancy rate in Istanbul was 68.8 in the first six months of the year, and this rate was 69.8 percent in the first six months of 2019, before the pandemic.
“In May and June, we surpassed the numbers of 2019 on a monthly basis, but we were slightly behind 2019 in the first six months of the year,” Eresin said.
“In the first six months, the average occupancy rate in Türkiye was 61.9 percent. This rate was 63.4 percent in the same period of 2019 and 36.2 percent in the first six months of 2021. Room prices and revenues in Istanbul also increased by up to 30 percent in the first half of the year.”
Tourists from the Middle East and Gulf countries make up most of Istanbul’s foreign visitors, she added.
“We are not yet where we want to be in terms of tourist diversity on a country basis, but it is pleasing that a noticeable movement has started, especially in markets such as Europe, North and South America,” Eresin said.
“As a result of the post-pandemic economic and social developments all over the world, the tourism movement is shaped by instantaneous changes like never before. Therefore, it is very difficult to give an estimated rate for the coming months and make a precise prediction. But after the last two years, we are clearly watching the beginning of a high-performance period.”
Ferit Turgut, the chairman of the Mediterranean Region Representative Board of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), noted that the interest of domestic and foreign tourists will continue in August.
“The fact that the Russian market was closed showed that we were good in promoting Türkiye in other markets,” he said.
“It is not really possible to make up for all the loss, but despite the global conditions, we can say that these figures are quite good.”