After the changed pricing, tourists were counted in Turkey and saw divergent trends: able-bodied vacationers from Germany and the Persian Gulf countries, who previously chose Turkish resorts, ceased to be actively interested in them, while the flow of tourists from other countries began to increase. At first glance, the Turks do not lose anything due to interchangeability.
August is the time to add up the intermediate results by the number of vacationers. But since arrival statistics are processed late, we take into account only seven months of this year, that is, from January to July. According to the Turizmguncel portal concerning the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, a unique dynamic in the tourism sphere has become noticeable in the republic. According to this information, in the first seven months of the current year 2023, the country was visited by an increased number of foreign tourists, reaching an impressive figure of 26 million 766 thousand people. This significant number was supplemented by another 3,327,000 citizens living abroad, more than 30 million tourists in total.
Comparing the data with previous years, it becomes clear that Turkey is experiencing a period of significant growth in the tourism sector. To fully understand this diversity, let’s look at the numbers in more detail. If we compare the number of foreign travelers who arrived in Turkey during the specified period with the same period in the year before 2019, we see an increase of 8.39%. This growth becomes even greater when compared to 2022 — the volume increased by 16.22%. This dynamic may seem unexpected given the decline in tourist flow from some countries, such as Germany and the Persian Gulf countries.
Experts analyze various factors influencing such fluctuations. However, according to observers, Turkey’s attractive tourism offers and support measures are playing a key role in attracting more foreign visitors. At the same time, the internal growth of the number of citizens living abroad who decide to spend their holidays in their homeland also significantly affects the overall statistics. Thus, Turkey continues to be an attractive tourist destination despite global changes in the sector.
In Germany, the Netherlands, and Belgium – a decrease
In the first seven months, a total of 10.2 million tourists from the European Union and OECD countries arrived in Turkey. Compared to the same period of 2022, the growth was 10.06% compared to the same period of 2022. From January to July, Turkey was visited by 3,211,000 people, which means an increase of 7.32% and makes Germany the second country with the number of visitors supplied to Turkey. However, a downward trend is visible. For example, only 941,000 vacationers arrived from Germany in July, which is 2.12% less than last month last year.
During the same period from January to July, the following numbers of tourists arrived in Turkey from other leading European markets:
- Austria: 284,000 people, an increase of 6.07%.
- France: 584,000 people, an increase of 1.98%.
- Great Britain: 2,063,000 people, an increase of 14%.
- Poland: 804,000 people, an increase of 37.81%.
- Greece: 354,000 people, an increase of 27.61%.
On the other hand, in the first seven months:
- Italy sent 283,000 tourists, an increase of 59.45%.
- The Netherlands: 232,000 tourists, a decrease of 4.82%.
- Belgium: 361,000 visitors, a decrease of 2.52%.
The decrease in the flow of tourists to Turkey also occurs in the Persian Gulf countries and Iran
Claims by travel agencies working with the Persian Gulf markets that “there is anti-Turkish propaganda in the Arab world (read more here) and Arabs are no longer visiting Turkey” were also reflected in the statistics for the period from January to July:
- From Iran – 1,254,000 people, a decrease of 1.87%.
- From Iraq – 604,000 people, a decrease of 8.43%.
- From Kuwait – 229,000 people, a decrease of 17.82%.
- From Jordan – 228,000 people, a decrease of 16.38%.
- From Lebanon – 130,000 people, a decrease of 12.80%.
- From the UAE – 75,000 people, a decrease of 6.88%.
- From Qatar – 46,000 people, a decrease of 31.69%.
- From Bahrain – 40,000 people, a drop of 33.51%.
At that time, Saudi Arabia, from where 511,000 travelers came to Turkey, on the contrary, recorded a record increase of 291.52%.
Ukrainian tourists in Turkey have increased
On the Ukrainian market, starting from February 2022, positive dynamics continue with the sending of tourists to the resorts of Turkey. During the same period, 456,000 people visited Turkey. As for Russia, in the first seven months, the number of vacationers increased by 59.22%: since the beginning of the year, 3,498,000 people went there. In total, more than 6.5 million tourists from the CIS countries rested in the republic — an increase of 38.19% compared to the previous period.
Increasing tourist flow from China and other countries
In the first seven months of 2022, the following number of tourists arrived in Turkey:
- From the USA – 714,000 people, an increase of 37.53%.
- From China – 114,000 people, an increase of 159.35%.
- From South Korea – 85,000 people, an increase of 101.93%.
- From Japan – 36,000 people, an increase of 197.19%.