Antalya worst-hit by tourism slump

Turkey’s top holiday destination, Antalya, suffered most from the dramatic collapse in visitors to the country last year, according to detailed new figures.

May 09, 2017
Antalya welcomed fewer tourists last year.
Photo: Christian Wyrwa

The overall number of visitors to Turkey dropped by 30% to 25.3 million last year, the annual ‘Package Tour Market Report’ from Turkish research company Turizmdatabank showed. The Turkish Riviera region around Antalya was hit worst, with a 45% fall in foreign arrivals. But regions such as Izmir (-44%), Mugla (-43%) and Kusadasi (-39%) also showed heavy declines. Istanbul, with a 26% decline, came off relatively lightly in comparison.

Nearly all of Turkey’s major source markets showed big falls. The number of German visitors dropped by 30% to 3.9 million, although Germany remained by far the largest market. British visitor numbers slumped by 32% to 1.7 million and the number of Dutch tourists fell by 26% to 0.9 million. The heaviest drop among major markets, however, was from Russia, due to the government’s ban on Turkey charter flights last year. The number of Russian visitors collapsed by 76% to just 0.87 million, according to the Turizmdatabank figures. As a result, Russia dropped from second to eighth in the table of source markets. There were also heavy falls from Poland (-59%), Italy (-58%) and Sweden (-49%).

Some countries did show growth, however. Visitors from Georgia were up by 15% to 2.2 million, putting the country second in the source market ranking. Bulgaria (4th) increased by 7% to 1.7 million and Ukraine (6th) soared by 48% to 1.05 million. There was also a 31% rise in the number of Israeli visitors.

In addition, the Turizmdatabank report includes customer number figures for the main Turkish incoming agencies, and thus also provides a strong indication of tour operator market shares. Overall, the largest Turkish incoming agency remains TUI Group partner Tantur (13.6%), ahead of Thomas Cook Group partner Diana Travel (13.1%) and FTI Group subsidiary Meeting Point (9.3%).

In terms of their German customer numbers, however, the picture is different. Meeting Point (FTI) rose to first, with a 22.5% market share, from third in 2015 (when it had a 16.8% share). Diana Travel (Thomas Cook) remained in second place with a 17.8% share (up 0.1pp). Tantur (TUI) dropped from first to third, with a 17.7% share (compared to 18.8% in 2015).

The next-largest incoming agencies in terms of German customer numbers were DER Touristik/DTS (9.4%) and MTS Globe (6.2%).

The Turizmdatabank report is compiled from official visitor figures, which are analysed in terms of visitor segments, and from surveys of incoming agencies.

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