ANKARA, Turkey - Turkey's tourism revenues increased by 6.2 percent in 2014 year-on-year, totaling $34.3 billion, data released by the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) on Friday have revealed.
Though the revenues generated from tourists' expenditures in Turkey decreased slightly, by 1.3 percent, in the last quarter of 2014, the surplus in the first nine months compensated for the deficit in the last quarter and resulted in a surge for the whole year.
According to the TurkStat statistics, 41.4 million tourists visited Turkey in 2014, 5.6 percent more than a year ago. Among those, 35.8 million were foreigners and 5.6 million were Turkish citizens living abroad. Out of the $34.3 billion, however, 81.5 percent came from foreign visitors while the remaining 18.5 percent was obtained from Turkish citizens residing abroad.
With regard to tourists' preferences, the majority organized their own tours or chose group packages for their vacations in Turkey in 2014. A total of $26.3 billion of tourists' money was spent by individuals, while $8.3 billion was spent on group packages, TurkStat said. The average spending of foreign tourists was $775 in 2014, while Turks living abroad spent $1,130 on average, revealing that most foreign visitors preferred the relatively cheaper package tours. The average expenditure per capita was $828 in 2014.
In the meantime, the tourism expenditures of Turks traveling abroad increased 4.1 percent year-on-year, reaching 5.47 billion in 2014.
Tourism revenues are significant in terms of items contributing to the current account balance of Turkey, where a huge gap between revenues and expenditures never disappears due to the country's heavy dependence on energy imports.
In spite of the fact that external conflicts, such as political and economic turmoil in Russia and Ukraine, have already affected the tourism industry in certain tourism spots in Turkey, the effects of such crises will likely deal a bigger blow to the sector as of the third quarter of 2015, since most tourists visit Turkey in the summer season.
No comments added yet