Turkey attracts huge number of UAE visitors in the first quarter - GulfToday

Turkey attracts huge number of UAE visitors in the first quarter


Over 13,296 Emiratis have visited multiple destinations across Turkey within the first four months of the year.

Business Bureau, Gulf Today

UAE nationals continue to travel to Turkish cities in rising numbers. As per latest figures released by the Turkish Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai, over 13,296 Emiratis have visited multiple destinations across Turkey within the first four months of the year. over 4,466 UAE nationals travelled to Turkey during the month of April, representing a 34.27% increase when compared April last year.

On the heels of this growth, several non-stop flights have been launched from Sharjah International Airport to Turkish cities, with Air Arabia flying into Antalya and Trabzon, and Turkish Airlines flying between the emirate and Istanbul. Meanwhile, a total of 110 flights now depart from the UAE’s airports for several destinations across Turkey each week.

“We are delighted to see Turkey climb to one of the most popular tourist destinations for Emiratis as well as other Gulf nationals. Visitors from neighbouring nations have always played a significant role in driving economic growth within Turkey by boosting its tourism sector,” commented Salih Ozer, Attaché of Culture and Information, Turkey to the UAE.

Over 8,735,200 tourists from around the world flew into Turkey in April, representing a 24% increase in comparison to April last year. The largest influx of tourists into Turkey in the first four months of 2019 has been from Germany at just over 803,480 visitors, followed by Bulgaria and Russia.

Turkey’s Mediterranean province of Antalya also recently broke its record for the number of tourists arriving by air on a single day — 85,205 visitors flew into the city on June 8, 2019. Inbound tourist traffic per month also rose by 17% in June with 570,422 visitors to the city. So far, 3,870,211 tourists have visited Antalya this year with an 18% increase when compared to the same period last year.

The attaché added, “Turkey has a lot to offer tourists, from an adventurous holiday at the shores of the Black Sea to a relaxing vacation on Mediterranean beaches, from historic sites to iconic attractions, to plenty of exclusive shopping. The country’s proximity coupled with relaxed visa formalities makes it the perfect destination for our Arab neighbours. The outlook for the tourism sector is indeed quite positive, and we are hoping to hit record-breaking highs throughout the year.”

One in every eight Turkish Lira is now generated by the nation’s travel and tourism sector. According to a recent report, the sector contributed TL 461.3 billion ($95.6 billion) to the country’s economy in 2018, with the sector now representing a 12.1% share of the Turkish economy. Growth in the Turkey’s tourism sector has in fact outpaced the global growth rate: the nation’s travel and tourism economy grew by 15% in 2018, significantly higher than the global growth rate of 3.9%.

‘The travel and tourism sector plays a crucial role as a driver of economic growth, job creation and social inclusion. Repeat visits from tourists from the GCC countries in particular help fuel the growth of this sector. We expect tourist spending in Turkey to continue undeterred through to the end of this year as the number of visitors bound for Turkish cities rises,’ noted Salih Ozer, Attaché of Culture and Information, Turkey to the UAE.

The report further ranked the Turkish city of Istanbul eighth in the world for international spend, accruing $16.3 billion in visitor exports, ahead even of other popular European destinations such as London, Paris, Barcelona and Amsterdam. A large slice of this spend has been attributed to Turkey’s growing popularity as a shopping destination.

A significant spike has been reported in the number of international tourists — particularly tourists from neighbouring Arab Countries — travelling into Turkey to shop, especially for high-end designer and luxury brands. According to recent estimates[2], foreign tourists held a notable share in the turnover of shopping centres in Turkey last year: shopping with foreign cards amounted to TL 26.3 billion in 2018, representing an increase of 76% year-on-year.

‘This increase in foreign tourist spend within Turkey has also resulted in growth for the nation’s retail sector. Travellers can enjoy greater value for their money in Turkey when compared to other popular destinations around the world across a wide spectrum of goods and services,’ added the attaché.

The 2018 research also shows that leisure travellers primarily drove the tourism sector in Turkey with 87% spending generated by leisure visitors and 13% from business travellers. The sector is also strongly weighted towards international travel: 61% of the spending came from international travellers and 39% from domestic travel.

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