What attracts foreign tourists to Turkey
A rich culture, historic sites, and awe-inspiring natural features attract millions from around the world to Turkey each year.
Each year tens of millions of people from around the world holiday in Turkey, making the transcontinental state one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world.
Bordering both the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, the country has some of the most spectacular beaches in the world, as well as other natural attractions, such as mountain resorts and forests.
The appeal is compounded by a rich cultural heritage, historic sites dating back millenia, and a cuisine that is famed internationally.
But to find out exactly what makes the country so appealing, Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism has commissioned a report that analyses what brings incoming tourists to Turkey.
Researchers spoke to people from 25 countries, in order to determine what more could be done to make their holidays and visits more enjoyable.
In 2018, 46 million people visited Turkey with the number set to climb further in 2019. As part of Ankara’s Vision 2023 programme, the government hopes to attract 75 million tourists by 2023.
The ministry wants to ensure that the country is ready for the expansion of the tourism sector in a safe manner.
Here we look at some of the results of their research.
Not surprisingly given their northern climate, the major draw for Russian visitors appears to be Turkey’s sandy, sun-kissed beaches.
Moscow was responsible for sending more tourists to Turkey than any other country with six million in 2018. Besides easing visa regulations between the two countries, Turkey also works to accommodate Russian tourists by ensuring Russian speaking staff are available at resorts.
Visitors from Europe’s industrial powerhouse come to Turkey for its hospitable people and the advanced state of the services available.
Most German cities are also just a short plane journey away from Turkey. Major factors that are important to German visitors include security and medical tourism, as well as cultural activities, are also a big draw.
Istanbul, Antalya, Mugla, and Cappadocia are their favourite destinations.
Another big player in the Turkish tourism industry is the UK with most Britons preferring package holidays on Anatolia’s southern Mediterranean coast. Like others, Turkey’s cultural and historic heritage is also a big draw, as is the low cost of living compared to European rivals. There are direct chartered flights between a number of British cities and resort areas in the south of Turkey.
Shopping, medical tourism, and gastronomy are big draws for visitors from Middle Eastern and North African Arab states.
Many Arabs feel comfortable visiting the Turkey due to common religious ties, as well as cultural similarities. Areas such as Istanbul, Bursa, Yalova, Trabzon and Antalya, are all popular with Middle Eastern travellers. The summer period between June and September are particularly favoured, as they offer respite from much hotter climates in Arab countries. Arab tourists are also one of the biggest customer groups for health services in Turkey, especially procedures such as hair transplants. Most Arabs choose to visit Turkey without tour agents, indicating some familiarity with the country.