Between January and July of 2022, the number of foreign tourists to Turkey has increased by an incredible 128% compared with the first seven months of 2021, official data showed on Monday.
Because of this increase, arrivals of tourists to Turkey have reached 23.3 million, according to the data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry. During this period, the country who sent the most tourists to Turkey was Germany. There was a year-on-year rise of 137% with visitors from Germany topping 2.9 million.
In second place were Russian tourists, with an increase of 41.36%, reaching a total of 2.1 million visitors in the period. The United Kingdom came in third place, with 1.8 million tourists and an increase of 2,036%. Fourth and fifth place for number of visitors were Bulgaria and Iran, respectively.
Separate data collected from the Turkish Statistical Institute, known as TurkStat, found that 26.1 million tourists were hosted during this period, as well as 3.1 million Turkish citizens living abroad.
The position of Turkey’s goals for tourism
In last month alone, the country hosted a total of 6.6 million foreign visitors with an increase of 52.84% compared to the same month in 2021. In July, Germans were again ranked first for tourists visiting Turkey, with 962,003 visitors, followed by Russians and Britons, with a total of 741,419 and 545,973 tourists respectively. In fourth and fifth slots were the Netherlands and Bulgaria.
Statements from industrial officials spoke about an increase in the number of tourists coming from Russia and Europe, and that it was at a much faster pace than expected, which was the reasoning for the upward increase of the seasonal expectations set out before.
Turkey’s position on the Russian-Ukraine war
When it comes to Russia’s military campaign against Ukraine, Turkey’s position and careful policy has been cited by many industry officials. They reiterated what President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called a ‘balanced approach’ to Kyiv and Moscow, and maintained that there are still close ties between the countries.
Nevertheless, Ankara has been critical of Russia’s invasion, sending armed drones to Ukraine and been instrumental in trying to enable peace talks between both sides of the war.
Russia’s Mir payment system has been set up within at least five of the Turkish banks to enable Russian tourists to pay for any of their purchases when in Turkey. Turkey is one of the few countries that has maintained flights to and from Russia since the invasion.
Russian and Ukraine visits to Turkey
The first and third biggest travellers to Turkey during 2021 were Russians and Ukrainians, respectively. Russian tourists made up 19% of all foreign travellers to the country, totalling 4.7 million people. With 2.1 million tourists, Ukraine was the third largest country sending travellers to Turkey at 8.3%, with a total of 2.1 million tourists.
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