Turkey, tourism in Istanbul

Turkey already surpasses Spain in tourism

Despite the pandemic, Turkey received 17.6 million foreign tourists between January and September, 86% more than last year.

Turkey already surpasses Spain in tourism and, for the first time in its history, it has managed to attract more tourists than the Spanish market, one of its main competitors, according to the Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy.

Speaking to the budget and planning committee of the Turkish parliament, Ersoy highlighted that Turkey was the first country in Europe and the entire region to resort to the idea of ​​”safe tourism certificates” during the COVID-19 pandemic, implementing this program with great success.

According to the most recent data managed by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, between January and September of this year some 17.6 million foreign tourists travelled to Turkey, 86% more compared to the same period in 2020, in full expansion of the coronavirus pandemic. Just last September, foreign tourist arrivals to Turkey totalled about 3.5 million, 59% more than in September 2020.

Turkey revises its tourist arrival forecasts upwards

In this sense, the minister stressed that the forecasts for tourism income and foreign tourist arrivals for 2021, set by the government itself, had to be revised upwards in light of the good figures, going from 20 to 22 billion dollars and from 25 to 28 million people, respectively.

“Tourism activity in Turkey is doing very well. Our tourism revenues could even reach $ 24 billion this year. We are working side by side with tourism professionals, we are working hard,” Ersoy insisted, adding that tourists per capita spending, which was $ 630 per tourist in 2018 (before the pandemic), increased to $ 830 per person in the first nine months of 2021.

In 2020, the coronavirus pandemic hit the global tourism industry hard, including Spain and Turkey; despite this, Turkey received 12.7 million foreign tourists last year, nevertheless a figure much lower than the more than 45 million visits it had received in 2019.