Turkish property sales, visitor numbers increase
July saw a 65 percent leap in the volume of property sales sold to foreigners over the same period in 2016. The same month also saw a significant rise in the number of tourists arriving to the country.
Property sales soar
More than 1700 properties were sold to foreigners in July. Topping the list were Iraqis, who bought 293 properties. Saudis purchased 248 units, Kuwaitis 142, Russians 118 and Britons 76.
Almost a third of the purchases took place in Turkey's largest city - showing that property in Istanbul shows no sign of waning.
Antalya took the second spot with 386 properties, while Trabzon, on the Black Sea, took out third place with 121 units. Trabzon property and local tourism has been on the rise in recent years thanks to increasing numbers of visitors from the Middle East.
Residential property sales increased by 42 percent over the same period, according to the data. In July 2017, 115,869 houses were sold in Turkey, a 19 percent increase over the previous year. The bulk of these sales were in Istanbul, followed by Ankara and Izmir.
As well as a rise in the number of property sales to foreigners, domestic sales also saw a large rise.
50 million visitors, 50 billion dollars by 2023
Turkey’s new Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmus has big plans. The tourism head says the country is aiming to attract 50 million annual visitors by 2023, which would mean an economic impact of 50 billion dollars.
The minister laid out a strategy to achieve the goal, which would see an increase of around 20 million annual visitors a year over 2015’s 30 million.
"Recent developments have hit Turkey's image," Kurtulmus said. "We see our cultural and tourism wealth as a key to correct wrong perceptions.”
Culture and tourism can heal political tensions and restore peace, he said, adding that Turkey works hard to guarantee the safety of its domestic and foreign visitors.
"Turkey's famous destinations are as safe as Berlin, Paris, and Rome".
Turkey’s visitor numbers have risen by more than 14 percent during the first six months of this year, with a 43 percent increase in June alone compared to June 2016.
10 million visitors tipped for Antalya
Tourism stalwart Antalya is expecting 10 million local and foreign tourists this year, according to its governor. It’s a vast improvement on 2016, where the year’s visitor numbers reached just six million.
Although 2016 was a tough year, this year’s shaping up much more favourably, says Munir Karaloglu, who said arrivals to Antalya were up by 65 percent by mid August compared to the previous year, taking visitor numbers up to 6.5 million.
This year’s Eid extension will play a large part, he said, adding that the lack of foreign tourists has meant hotels and tour operators have worked to fill the gap with local tourists.
During the 10-day Eid holiday, occupancy rates should hit 100 percent.