The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey is expected to pass the 40 million mark in 2018, says the culture and tourism minister. Over 10 million visitors hit Istanbul in 2017, according to Mastercard’s 2018 Global Destination Cities Index.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey is expected to pass the 40 million mark in 2018.
The announcement was made by Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy who was speaking at the opening of the Turkish pavilion at the World Tourism Market 2018 in London on Monday.
Ersoy said the ministry projected 30 or 35 percent increase in the number of British tourists visiting Turkey in 2018.
“I am expecting a 23 percent increase next year. I hope we will reach the target of 48 million [tourists],” he added. Turkey expects to host around 50 million tourists in 2019, he said.
Ninth most visited city in the world
According to Mastercard’s Global Destination Cities Index, Istanbul and Antalya are in the top 20 most visited cities across the world.
Istanbul was the third-most visited city in Europe and ninth in the world with its 10.7 million overnight visitors. The average spending per day for a person is $108 in Istanbul.
The city by the Bosphorus is projected to experience the largest bump in visitors in 2018 among top international destinations. The city is forecast to see 12.8 million tourists in 2018.
Gateway to the Turkish Riviera
Antalya reached number 4 on the list of top 10 visited cities in Europe, and 11 on the world list with 9.4 million people visiting in 2017.
In 2016, 5.89 million tourists went to Antalya.
Taking over other famous tourist destinations such as Phuket, Palma de Mallorca, Barcelona, Pattaya and Bali, Antalya saw the number of visitors increase 60 percent to 9.42 million in 2017.
Crossroads of the east and west
Nearly one billion people from Ireland to India can reach Turkey in around four hours. Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, has direct flights from 57 countries.
Tourism which adds about $30 billion to gross domestic product each year was also hit by an attempted coup in July 2016 and a spate of bombings blamed on Daesh and PKK, which scared away tourists over the past few years.
After the security situation started improving in 2017 and tourists found the silver lining in Turkey's lira crash in 2018, the tourism sector is expected to bounce back.
Turkey's location is definitely a factor for people considering health tourism in the country.
The new Istanbul Airport came into service at the end of October and is expected to boost the aviation sector's growth by 27.5 percent in the next three years.
It will provide more than $30.65 billion of revenue to the government annually.