Turkiye was the 5th country that hosted the most tourists last year

International audit and consultancy company Ernst & Young (EY) announced the results of the Tourism Sector Assessment 2023 report prepared for the tourism and accommodation sector. While the most visited city was Istanbul, the most tourists came from Russia.

In the said report, it was stated that changing dynamics and trends in the field of tourism industry affected the priorities, and it was emphasized that 2023 means that sustainability, technology, cultural experiences, health and safety trends come together in the field of global tourism.

According to the report, sustainable and environmentally friendly travel options have been given increasing priority, with carbon footprint-reducing flights, green accommodation and ecologically conscious tourist activities playing a decisive role in travel choices.

According to data published by the International Air Transport Association, Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport became the world’s busiest airport for international passengers with over 5.36 million scheduled seats in October 2023. While Dubai International Airport ranked second on the list, Istanbul Airport ranked seventh in passenger traffic.

The report states that Turkiye’s tourism revenues increased by 27% on an annual basis in the first half of 2023, reaching $21.7 billion. It was noted that the Champions League final played between Inter Milan and Manchester City in Istanbul on June 10 provided an economic contribution of approximately €75 million ($80 million) to the host city.

Turkiye is the 5th most visited country

In the report, it was reported that Turkiye was the 5th country hosting the most tourists in 2022 with a total of 51 million visitors, and it was announced that in the first half of 2023, this figure increased by 21% compared to the first half of 2022, reflecting 22 million.

In the report, the purpose of visitors’ arrival in the first half of 2023 was recorded as “travel, entertainment, sports and cultural activities” with a rate of 76.2% and “visiting relatives and friends” with a rate of 16.6%. It was stated that the rate of people coming to Turkiye for “shopping” remained constant at 3%, similar to previous years.

The report emphasized that the tourist group that visited Turkiye most in the first half of 2023 was Russian visitors, increasing by 34% compared to the previous year and reaching 5.2 million people. The report states that visitors from Russia constitute 13% of the total number of visitors, and tourists from Germany, which ranks second, constitute 12%. It was reported that the number of visitors from England increased by 12% compared to the same period of the previous year and ranked 3rd.

Istanbul was the most visited city

The report stated that Istanbul hosted 11 million 524 thousand foreign visitors in the first half of 2023, and noted that the rate of foreign visitors visiting Istanbul in the first half of 2023 increased by 16.22% compared to the same period of the previous year.

On the other hand, Russia, Germany, Iran, the USA, Saudi Arabia and the UK ranked first in the number of visitors to Istanbul, similar to previous years. While Istanbul alone hosted 16.02 million foreign tourists in 2022, the most foreign visitors came from Russia again. Tourists from Russia accounted for 9.33% of the total visitors, followed by Germany in second place with 7.72%and Iran in third place (6.85%).

In the report, Istanbul will be followed by Antalya, located on the Mediterranean coast and known for its holiday villages, with 12.82 million foreign visitors in 2022. Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, ranked third on the list with 4.64 million foreign visitors, and Mugla, famous for its Bodrum, Marmaris and Fethiye districts, ranked fourth.

Health tourism increased by 88%

In the EY report, which stated that the interest in health tourism in Turkiye continues to increase, it was noted that 746 thousand 290 people visited Turkiye for health services in the first half of 2023.

While it was announced in the report that the income from health tourism reached $1 billion 33 million, it was stated that TURSAB predicts that Turkiye will host more than 1.8 million health tourists in 2023, an increase of approximately 30% compared to the previous year.

The report states that there will be an 88% increase in health tourism in 2022 compared to 2021, and this will be reflected in a 23% increase in health services revenue. It was reported that 1 million 258 thousand 382 visitors received health services in Turkiye while $2.12 billion of income was generated in 2022.

Turkiye became one of the leading countries in cruise tourism

In the report, it was announced that Turkiye has become one of the leading countries in cruise tourism with the investments made in recent years and that more than 483 thousand people visited Turkiye by cruise in the first half of 2023.

It was noted that in the said period, the number of cruise ships docking at the ports increased by 32% (420 ships) and the number of passengers increased by 107% (31,057 passengers) compared to the same period last year. It was stated that Kusadasi was the district where the most cruise ships docked with 191 voyages and hosted 258 thousand 719 visitors.

Kusadasi was followed by Galataport (Istanbul) with 115 thousand 760 visitors and 72 flights.

The contribution of the travel and tourism sector is increasing

According to the report, the travel and tourism sector worldwide contributed 7.6% to the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.

The report stated that the figure in question showed a 22% increase compared to the 2021 level and a 23% decrease compared to the 2019 level, and it was noted that the figure is predicted to reach $9.5 trillion in 2023 and $15.5 trillion in 2033.

According to the World Travel and Tourism Council, the contribution of travel and tourism to GDP in Europe in 2022 amounted to $579.2 billion, an increase of 40% compared to 2021. However, in 2022, this rate was still 7.2% lower than in 2019.

The report emphasizes that the contribution of Turkiye’s tourism revenues to GDP has increased from 2.1% to 5.1% in the last three years. It was announced that package tour expenditures in Turkiye increased by 83.4% and travel services expenditures increased by 82.1% in 2022 compared to the previous year.

Source: Trthaber / Prepared by Irem Yildiz

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