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Turkey: tourism revenue rises by 182%

Tourists taking pictures near the Hagia Sophia Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 9, 2021 [BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images]
Tourists in Turkey, taking pictures near the Hagia Sophia Mosque at Sultanahmet in Istanbul on May 9, 2021 [BULENT KILIC/AFP via Getty Images]

Following a significant fall last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Turkey's tourism revenue shot up by 181.8 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2021, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced on Thursday.

The country earned $11.4 billion from July to September, up from $4 billion in the same period last year when the Covid-19 crisis led to a collapse in international travel. With travel restrictions worldwide, borders were shut, resulting in an overall drop in consumer demand. The figure was $14 billion in the same period in 2019, before the onset of the pandemic.

Around 78 per cent of this income – excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditure – was generated from foreign visitors, the TurkStat data showed.

Turkey welcomed 13.6 million visitors in the three-month period. This was up by 143.4 per cent on an annual basis as restrictions were eased and vaccination rollout advanced in many parts of the world. While 84 per cent, or 11.5 million visitors, were foreigners, 16 per cent — 2.2 million people — were Turkish citizens who live abroad.

According to official figures, individual expenditure constituted nearly $9 billion of the total tourism income; $2.3 billion came from package tour expenditure.

TurkStat said that visitors' average expenditure was $835 per capita. Foreigners spent $773 per capita and Turkish citizens living abroad spent $1,146 per capita in the third quarter of this year.

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