More Turkish holidaymakers traveled abroad this year, especially to countries where Turks do not need to get a visa, including Turkish Cyprus, says Kaan Karayal, the board chair of Tatil Sepeti, a travel portal.
One of the reasons Turkish travelers turned to foreign destinations is the increasing vacation costs in Türkiye, Karayal said, adding the most preferred destinations on Turks’ list were Balkan countries, Egypt and Dubai.
There has been strong demand for Sharm el-Sheikh in Egypt, Budva in Montenegro and tours to the Balkan destinations where Turkish travelers are not required to have a visa to visit those locations, Karayal said.
Upper-income groups prefer Sharm el-Sheikh and Dubai, he noted.
Local holidaymakers’ most favorite destinations in Türkiye were Antalya and Muğla,as was the case in the previous years, he added.
As transport costs rise, demand for short stays in closer destinations, such as Sapanca, Abant and Bolu, increased by 50 percent, Karayal said.
Karayal also noted that cultural tours were not in high demand. “Tours to the southeastern provinces almost came to a complete halt after the February earthquakes.”
Domestic tourism expenditures rose by 83 percent in the first quarter of 2023 from a year ago to 22.3 billion Turkish Liras, according to the latest official data.
Last year, tourism expenditures amounted to 114 billion liras, rising 97 percent compared with 2021.
The number of domestic travelers rose 17 percent in January-March year-on-year to 8.6 million, with the number of trips increasing by 14.5 percent to 10 million.