Turkish off-season tourism numbers soar in Antalya

Konyaalti beach Antalya

Last year Turkey recorded its best tourist results, more surprisingly though are the figures reported by the tourist capital Antalya for January. Over 142,000 tourists travelled to the city which is an increase of nearly 54% when compared to the same time last year. January has always been considered as the “dead season” in terms of tourism, however these figures are a fantastic way to start Turkey’s aim to encourage tourism all year round.

Antalya tourist numbers

In the report compiled by the Antalya Airport Administrative Authority, tourists in the city exceeded 142,000 in January against 92,000 for the same period in the previous year. Since 2013, tourist numbers rose from 108,000 to 113,000 in 2014 and 117,000 in 2015. It was once again Russian tourists that topped the table with an enormous rise of 75% compared with the same month in 2018. There were 37,314 Russian tourists and 29,605 German tourists, which was also an increase of 52%. The Russian and Germans are the two main visitor groups in Antalya and to see such a huge increase of both in what is primarily seen as the dead season is why there is so much optimism for the summer months to come.

Where do Antalya tourists come from?

The tourists visiting Antalya in the dead season came from 135 different countries. Amongst these there were almost 7,000 Polish visitors which was up by over 120%, nearly 4,500 UK visitors which was an increase of 27%, just over 3,500 tourists came from Jordan, an increase of 130%. Visitors from the Netherlands were up by 26% standing at almost 3,000 whereas just over 2,000 visitors came from Belgium which equated to an increase of 64%. Norwegian visitors increased the most with 2,025 which was a massive rise of 540%. There were 1,850 tourists from the Ukraine, which was an increase of 315%, 1,644 from Iran representing an increase of 98%. Austrian visitors were up by 40% totalling 1,418 whereas tourists from Kazakhstan totalled 1,202 up 258%. Swedish tourists increased by a massive 488% to 1,029 visitors and tourists from Iraq totalled 1,017 which is an increase of 52%. Finally, there was a 39% increase in visitors from Azerbaijan standing at 1,000.

Turkey January Travel Trend

Osman Ayik, the head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation commented that the record breaking visitors in January – April and November to December, often referred to as the dead season when it comes to tourists visiting Antalya were really important for the tourism industry. Ayik explained that in the peak season of May to October, Antalya had welcomed as many visitors as it could.

Osman Ayik said that the objective for Antalya has been to increase the tourist trade and spread the numbers over all 12 months of the year. Being able to achieve this will see better results in the pre-season, classed as the dead season and these results are important as they are a good indicator of things to come during 2019.

2018 saw 5.96 million visitors to Turkey from Russia which equated to 15.1% of the overall foreign visitors to the country. Germany came in second with 4.51 million tourists choosing Turkey. According to the ministry, Antalya the Mediterranean resort welcomed 12.4 million of foreign visitors. Representatives from the tourist industry have predicted that there will be at least 15 million foreign visitors choosing Antalya as their destination this year.


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