German visitors power tourism comeback

Turkey is making a strong tourism comeback this year, with German and Russian visitors leading the way, according to the latest official statistics.

August 01, 2018
Turkish beaches are full again.
Photo: Thinkstock

The number of foreign visitors increased by over 30% to nearly 16 million in the first half of 2018, figures from the tourism and culture ministry showed. This included a 29% increase to 4.5 million international arrivals in June. A combination of low prices, top-quality hotels and improved consumer confidence in the destination are the key factors in the strong recovery.

The two largest source markets, Russia and Germany, are both showing strong growth. Russia maintained its position as the top source market with a dramatic 40% surge to nearly 2.4 million arrivals from January to June. Numbers increased by 29% to nearly 990,000 in June alone.

The number of German visitors increased by 25% to 1.56 million in the first six months, including an 18% rise to 452,000 in June. This clear double-digit growth matches recent comments by German tour operators on strong bookings for the destination this summer.

Other markets also showed strong growth, however. The number of British visitors, for example, soared by 45% to over 306,000 in June, and was 41% higher at 858,000 over the first half-year. Among smaller markets, Polish visitor numbers tripled to 105,000, and Dutch visitor numbers were up by 42% in June alone.

Meanwhile, Turkish-German leisure airline Sun Express has unveiled its winter 2018/19 schedule with more flights from Germany to Antalya and Izmir. In total, the airline will offer more than one million available seats from Germany to Turkey, including 400,000 to its hub in Izmir.

In addition, Sun Express Germany has increased capacity from Germany to Egypt by 15% to 300,000 seats for the forthcoming winter season and will also fly weekly from Frankfurt and Leipzig to Fuerteventura.

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