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Tourism in Turkey Posted Declines in Q1 2020

News It is not a secret that the tourism sector suffers from declines nowadays due to the coronavirus pandemic and, consequently, travel ban in most countries of the world. Recent stats only prove this difficult situation. Turkey, a popular leisure destination, is no exception. Last week, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) posted the results of the country’s tourism income in the first quarter of 2020. The country’s income fell by 11.4% and reached US$4 billion 101 million and 206 thousand.

Before the travel restrictions, hotels in Istanbul were a popular city break choice, while Antalya hotels attracted many holidaymakers. Nowadays, the start of the new tourist season is questionable. In Q1, 2020, the country’s hospitality industry still could offer services to foreign guests who were responsible for 80.6% of income. This number includes marina service and GSM roaming. Foreign guests preferred to book individual tours in Turkey rather than stick to package tours. Expenditures of individual visitors estimated US3 billion 564 million 760 thousand. The income obtained from package tours is significantly lower – US$536 million 445 thousand.

The fall is visible in all tourism-related expenditures. Hotel booking expenditures fell by 15.7%, overseas transport expenditures decreased by 12.1%, and health expenditures fell by 17.5%. During a vacation in Turkey, foreign guests spent, on average, US$74 per night. When visiting Turkey, the vast majority of foreign guests (59.9%) did that for travel, cultural activities, and entertainment purposes. Visiting friends and relatives was the second most popular choice with a share of 21.7%. Only 7.2% of foreign guests arrived in Turkey for shopping purposes.

The number of departing visitors in Q1 2020 was 15.1% less than during the same period a year ago. The metric decreased to 5 million 639 thousand 413 persons, and 82.2% of them were foreign guests. The remaining 17.8% of departing visitors were Turkish citizens who permanently live abroad.

Tourism expenditures of Turkish tourists abroad also decreased in Q1 2020, reaching a decline of 25.6%. In total, Turkish citizens spent US$793 million 491 thousand on overseas tourism. Just like with inbound tourism, individual expenditures dominate in outbound tourism. Individual travelers are responsible for more than US$652 million while tour expenditures reached only US$141 million.


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