More than 2.6 million tourists have travelled through Antalya Airport Turkey this year, an increase of 700,000 over last year.
After two slow years, it’s welcome news for the thousands of workers across the region who rely on tourism dollars, and excellent news for the wider economy. Between January 1 and the end of May 2016, just 1.5 million tourists had travelled through Antalya, 25 percent fewer than in 2015, and 1.4 million fewer than in 2014.
Antalya City and the surrounding Mediterranean region, which include tourist favourites Kemer, Side and Belek, have long been a favourite with holidaymakers and investors, with a high number of Antalya homes owned by foreigners. The province is aiming for 14 million tourists this year, and with the season just getting started, this figure seems easily achievable.
Thomas Cook holiday sales to Turkey up by 84 percent
Travel company Thomas Cook has reported that Turkey package holiday sales are up by 84 percent. It was reported that 600,000 extra seats are available for holidaymakers wishing to take advantage of Turkey’s excellent climate and low prices.
Visitors from Iran set to boost the tourism sector
Around 2.5 million Iranian tourists visited Turkey last year, a number which tourism professionals believe will be bettered this year. Iranian tourists who are unable to travel to the US or Europe thanks to sanctions will instead opt for Turkey, believe insiders.
Iranian tourists typically spend 35-40 percent more than Western tourists. While these tourists tend to head to Istanbul and the Black Sea regions, there’s a growing trend for visiting Mediterranean centres like Antalya and Bodrum.
Turkey’s 50 million tourist goal
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said this week that he believes Turkey will attract 50 million tourists by 2023, generating $50 billion from tourist revenue.
“There is a significant increase in the number of tourists this year. Therefore, we are moving toward 50 million with decisive steps.”
Revenue from tourism rose by 31 percent in the first quarter of 2018, hitting $4.43 billion, data shows. In the first three months of 2018, more than five million people visited Turkey, an increase of more than a third over the same period last year. Visitors from Iran, Georgia, Germany and Bulgaria led the charge.
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