Turkey, which is the world’s 10th most popular tourism center and has welcomed 38.6 million of tourists in 2017, continues to offer broad investment opportunities for both the settled and the developing sub-sectors of tourism industry.
Some important facts and figures on the tourism sector in Turkey are as follows:
- Based on the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) data, Turkey became the 10th most popular tourist destination in the world in 2016.
- According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey in 2017 was 38.6 million, while the total income earned in the same year was 26 billion USD.
- In the field of faith tourism, Turkey is one of the few countries where there are holy places belonging to various major religions. Of 316 monumental holy structures, 167 belong to Islam, 129 to Christianity and 20 to Jewish religion.
- Considering the number of foreign visitors, Antalya is Turkey’s most preferred city. There are more than 500 4-star and 5-star hotels in the center of Antalya, which was visited by 25% of the foreign tourists coming to the country in 2017, and the districts such as Kemer, Belek and Kas.
- The number of hotel chains and groups in Turkey has increased two times since 2001 and it has reached to 165 today. These 165 chains have a total of 824 hotels in Turkey. 82% of these chain and group hotels are domestic, 15% are foreign and 3% are domestic-foreign partnerships.
- Turkey, which has a 7,200 km long coastline with 454 blue flag beaches, is the 2nd among 38 countries after Spain with 579 blue flag beaches. Turkey also has 22 Blue Flag marinas.
- Turkey is among the top seven countries in the world in terms of geothermal tourism potential, and is ranked the first with 1.500 hot springs in Europe. The total bed capacity in various spa facilities has reached to 55.134.
- Belek region stands out as the most important golf center of Turkey. Belek is one of the most popular tourism centers in the world with 15 golf courses, 50.000 bed capacity and 2 million tourists. Belek was also selected as the Best Golf Destination in Europe in 2008 by the International Union of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO).
- Istanbul ranked the 6th in the world’s 10 most visited cities based on 2017 tourism data of Forbes Travel.
- The tourism sector targets 50 million tourists a year and 50 billion US dollars of revenue by 2023.
• While the Turkish government offers incentives such as low service rates and low tax rates, it also pursues policies aiming to eliminate any bureaucratic obstacles that may slow down the growth of the tourism sector.