July – September sees Turkish tourism revenue up by 182%

Tourism in Turkey

The Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) recently announced that in the third quarter of this year, tourism income in Turkey has risen by a massive 181.8% following a significant decrease in 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Income from tourism

The country has earned approximately $11.4 billion in the three months from July – September, which is up from $4 billion last year when all international travel came to a standstill due to the restrictions that had to be put in place for air travel. Before the pandemic, earnings in 2019 totalled $14 billion in the period of July – September.

The TurkStat data revealed that approximately 78% of the income has been generated from foreign visitors but excludes GSM roaming and marina service expenditures.

Visitor numbers and Spends

In the three months from July – September 2021, Turkey played host to 13.6 million visitors, which was an increase of 143.4% annually since the restrictions have eased and the coronavirus vaccine program has been rolled out worldwide. 11.5 million (84%) of the visitors were foreigners with the remaining 2.2 million (16%) being Turkish citizens that live abroad.

Official figures show that the individual expenditure made up almost $9 billion of the total income from tourists, with a further $2.3 billion coming from package tours.

In the third quarter of this year the average spends consisted of $835 per capita, as foreigners spent about $773 per capita and Turkish citizens that now live abroad spent $1,145 per capita.

Foreign visitor numbers

In accordance with the country’s Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of foreign visitors jumped up 86% from January to September this year when compared to the previous year, reaching a colossal 17.6 million. Although this is a huge improvement on the past year, it does not overtake the numbers in 2019.

Most popular locations and nationalities

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya was the most popular place for foreign visitors and was host to 39% of the visitors which totals 6.8 million. Antalya was closely followed by Istanbul which attracted a 33% share and Edirne situated in the north-west side of Turkey bordering both Greece and Bulgaria welcomed 10%.

Russian tourists made up 20% (3.5 million) of all tourists, with a further 13% coming from Germany, Ukrainians totalled 1.8%, the Iranians made up 4%, and the Bulgarians with 5%.


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