The latest figures showing tourists arriving in Turkey during the first 8 months of 2018 have seen a 23% increase. The arrival of 27 million foreign tourists has been registered and reports have been confirmed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism in Turkey. In the same period in 2017 figures showed that 21.9 million foreign tourists arrived in Turkey, the increase is significant at 22.9% and the news has been well received.
It is no secret that figures for foreign tourists dropped during 2016 and part of 2017 due to the failed attempted coup and because of world events due to terrorism that made many holiday makers decide to stay within their own countries. This much awaited news now confirms that recovery of tourism in Turkey has indeed bounced back.
In 2017 Turkey received 32.4 million foreign tourists descend on their shores compared to a mere 25.3 million in 2016. One of the main cities that is visited year on year is Istanbul which is so popular for sightseeing especially and figures there amounted to 8.87 million visitors which was the highest tourist activity to be seen.
Next came ever popular Antalya on the Mediterranean coast which saw in excess of 8.75 million holiday makers and tourists wanting their summer sun fix.
Who were these foreign visitors? Russia led the way all year until the month of August which saw 4.18 million Russians choosing Turkey for their preferred destination and they accounted for 15.5% of foreign travellers arriving in Turkey.
2.97 million Germans arrived in Turkey followed by 1.57 million Brits, 1.51 million Iranians and visitors from Georgia showed figures of 1.44 million. It was also noted that both the German and British markets main issuing markets to Spain had dropped in visitors to Turkey until the month of August; this is compared to the same period of the previous year. Frontur released this data from the Tourist Movement on Borders saying that whilst the British market showed a decrease in figures of 2.9% the German market indicated a drop of 5.8%.
Why are we seeing this much needed increase in foreign arrivals to Turkey? I think there are various reasons. Firstly Turkey has been in the top summer destinations for summer holidays for a fair few years now, its not long haul meaning flights are only 4 hours from the UK and Europe. The main resorts are along the beautiful coastlines of the Aegean and the Mediterranean where the sun shines for 300 days per year. One of the advantages that Turkey has is that their International Airports are located close to the resorts and therefore the transfer times are mostly under 1 hour. This makes it ideal for holiday makers and especially families with young children not having a long transfer as soon as they reach Turkey.
Another reason is the exchange rate between Great British Pounds (GBP) to Turkish Lira (TL). It is at a low which is good news for foreigners it makes their holiday spending money go much further. Whether it’s a couple, a group of friends or a family Turkey is in the top ten most desired tourist destinations and they are once again arriving in their millions for their annul 2 weeks holiday in the summer sun. In 2018 there was a huge increase in seats to Turkey on flights and also new destinations where added by the top flight companies. The season started early in March as Easter in the UK was then too, plus it doesn’t end until the beginning of November.
The announcement of a drop in price of the Golden Visa to Turkey has also provided an immense lure for foreign buyers who want Turkish citizenship. It was a whopping 1 million Dollars it now stands at just 250,000 Dollars for an investment in property or properties in Turkey. What is the catch? I don’t think it is a catch to be honest all you have to do is not sell the property for 3 years and in return you your wife/husband and any children under the age of 18 will have Turkish citizenship. The advantage of investing in Turkey is they allow dual citizenship with your own country so you don’t need to cut your own nationality ties with them. Once you have Turkish citizenship it gives you another passport, you can work freely in Turkey and you can vote, plus you don’t need to renew residency or work visas. No wonder of the rise of 23%!