NEWS Tourism        30/04/2021

Turkey’s tourism revenue falls 40.2% to USD 2.5 billion in 1st quarter of 2021

According to figures provided by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TUİK - Turkstat), Turkey’s tourism revenue fell by 40.2% in the first quarter of 2021, with a fall of 53.9% in visitors to 2,600,468. Revenue in the first quarter of 2021 was USD 2,452 million compared with USD 4,101 million in the same period of the previous year. The average expenditure per visitor to Turkey increased 29.7% in this quarter from USD 727 in 2020 to USD 943 in 2021.

 

Of the 2,600,468 visitors leaving Turkey in the first quarter of 2021, 1,826,227 (70.2%) visitors were foreign and 774,241 (29.8%) visitors were Turkish citizens living abroad. The average expenditure per foreign visitor to Turkey was USD 918 compared to USD 983 for Turkish citizens living abroad.


The coronavirus pandemic has also taken its toll of Turkish citizens visiting abroad. Their number decreased 83.9% to 281,322 in the first quarter of 2021 compared to the same quarter of the previous year. Their total expenditure abroad was USD 236 million, a decrease of 70.2% on the figure for the same period of the previous year. Their average per capita expenditure was USD 840, compared with USD 455 for the same quarter of the previous year.

 

With regards the total year of 2020, Turkey’s tourism revenue fell by 65.1% to USD 12,059 million, and the number of visitors fell by 69.5% to 15,826,266. The average expenditure per visitor to Turkey increased from USD 666 in 2019 to USD 762 in 2020. Of the 15,826,266 visitors leaving Turkey in 2020, 12,708,265 (80.3%) visitors were foreign and 3,118,001 (19.7%) visitors were Turkish citizens living abroad. The average expenditure per foreign visitor to Turkey was USD 716 compared to USD 926 for Turkish citizens living abroad. The number of Turkish citizens visiting abroad in 2020 was 2,242,864, a 76.8% decrease compared to the previous year. Their total expenditure abroad was USD 1,105 million, a decrease of 74.9% on the previous year. Their average per capita expenditure was USD 492, compared with USD 456 for the previous year

 

With regards the year 2019, Turkey’s tourism revenue grew by 17% to USD 34,520 million, whereas the number of visitors grew by 13.7% to 51,860,042. The average expenditure per visitor to Turkey increased from USD 647 in 2018 to USD 666 in 2019. Of the 51,860,042 visitors leaving Turkey in 2019, 44,712,970 (86.2%) visitors were foreign and 7,147,072 (13.8%) visitors were Turkish citizens living abroad. The average expenditure per foreign visitor to Turkey was USD 642 compared to USD 796 for Turkish citizens living abroad. This compares with USD 617 and USD 801 respectively in 2018. The number of Turkish citizens visiting abroad in 2019 was 9,650,512, a 15.1% increase compared to the previous year. Their total expenditure abroad was USD 4,404 million, a decrease of 10.1% on the previous year. Their average per capita expenditure was USD 456, compared with USD 584 for the previous year

 

The Turkish tourism industry had shown a very successful recovery since 2015 when there was a stand-off with Russia over the shooting down of a Russian jet which resulted in a boycott by Russian tourists. Turkish tourism, which broke all records in 2019 and was preparing to attract even more tourists in the years to come, was a valuable source of foreign exchange for the Turkish government at a time when the Turkish economy was in recession. Unfortunately, the Turkish tourism industry has from March 2020 been faced with the growing spectre of the coronavirus pandemic. Turkey, despite a lockdown in the second quarter of 2020, has yet to bring the virus under control and has only recently been confronted with record levels of new virus cases in April 2021.  The vaccination programme in Turkey has been slow to start and has so far proved inadequate. A 17 day total lockdown leading up to and over the Ramadan holiday period appears to be Turkey’s last chance to rectify the situation before the tourism season gets into full swing. If the situation does not improve, countries will be very adverse to sending their citizens to Turkey. Russia has already banned package tour flights to Turkey until the beginning of June, and may well extend this ban as necessary. The cost to Turkey’s tourism industry and to the Turkish economy as a whole was severe in 2020. It would seem that 2021 will show little improvement.    



Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 21.56% to TL 2,825.90 (USD 380) as of 01.01.2021       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s official annual inflation rate increases to 17.53% in June 2021       Turkey’s official unemployment rate decreases to 13.2% in May 2021       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 83,614,362 as of 2020 yearend       Foreigners visiting Turkey in 2020 falls by 71.7% to 12.7 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 173.9 billion as of 2020 yearend       Turkey’s economy grew by 1.8% in 2020       Foreign Direct Investment inflow to Turkey was USD 7.7 billion in 2020