Globally, the tourism industry took a huge knock during the pandemic so it’s no surprise that many within the sector are relieved that numbers have recently increased and are now a lot closer to pre-pandemic levels. Official stats in Turkey show that overall the industry was down by around 65% but since restrictions were lifted, numbers actually hit a 21 month high in July with more than 4.36 million tourists arriving which was an increase of 367.5% on the same time last year.
Between January-August more than 14 million foreign visitors arrived into Turkey, a rise of 94% from the same period last year, and now with numbers steadily on the rise going into 2022, Mehmet Nuri Esroy (the Culture and Tourism Minister) is aiming to attract 50 million tourists a year by 2023, which would result in revenues of around $50 billion.
Esroy was keen to point out that the increase would be helped by two key things, firstly that when the Lira loses some of it’s value exports and tourism increase as products of a higher quality can be offered cheaper, and they want to do more to bring back Arab tourists to Turkey, who in the past have spent more per head here than any other foreign visitor.
To boost the Turkish profile within the Arab world Esroy recently visited the Qatari Prime Minister Khalid Bin Khalifa bin Abdulaziz Al Thani and the Foreign Minister Mohammad bin Abdulrahman Al Thani after which they established a new agency in Qatar to promote Turkey’s attractions, and discuss joint benefit opportunities with authorities.
Aside from the Historical Sites, the open air museum, the beaches and the natural beauty, Health Tourism is rapidly on the rise, and procedures such as hair transplantation, organ transplantation and plastic surgery generate more than $1 billion annually, plus it shows no sign of slowing down anytime soon.