Turkiye is now in the “Super League” in world tourism, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy has said, referring to the number of tourist arrivals and revenue.
The minister recalled that the country’s targets for this year are 50 million tourist arrivals and $44 billion in revenue, adding that probably those targets will be surpassed at the end of the year.
“If those targets are met, we will reach 2019’s tourist visits level, while revenues will be well above what they were in that year,” Ersoy said,speaking at the International Resort Tourism Congress in the southern province of Antalya.
Turkiye sees the top players in the global tourism market as its main competitors, he said.
Ersoy noted that tourist arrival and tourism revenue targets were revised upwards twice this year, saying that at the start of the year, targets for 2022 were set at 42 million tourists and $35 billion in tourism revenue.
“We managed the pandemic period very well. A comparison between 2020 and 2019 figures clearly show that we are ahead of our competitors.”
In the first seven months of 2022, Italy saw a 29 percent decline in tourist visits compared with 2019 and the declines in Spain and Greece were 18 percent and 12 percent, Ersoy said, adding that in Turkiye the number of tourist arrivals was only 7 percent lower than that of 2019.
In terms revenues, Italy’s tourism revenues fell by 13 percent in January-July from the same period of 2019, while revenues declined by 6 percent in Spain and 4 percent in Greece. “Our revenues, on the other hand, increased 14 percent compared with the first seven months of 2019.”
In the whole of 2019, the country’s tourism revenue stood at $38.9 billion, rising from $12.4 billion in 2002.
Ersoy predicted that the average expenditure per night will increase to $90 at the end of the year from $76.20 in 2019 and $81.25 in 2021.
Besides promotion campaigns, they also engaged in intensive PR efforts, the minister said.
“Since the start of 2022, we have hosted 5,860 people, including 3,500 journalists and influencers, 2,400 tour operations from 85 countries in 356 events in Turkiye’s 62 provinces.”
The key is diversifying products and markets, which will provide a shield against unfavorable developments, he said, adding that culture tourism is an important component of this product diversification.
The culture road festivals, which were first launched in Istanbul, has now spread to Ankara, Diyarbakır, Çanakkale and Konya. “This year seven such festivals welcomed 33 million visitors. Next year, the provinces of İzmir, Adana, Erzurum, Trabzon and Gaziantep will be added to the list,” he said.