General Facts about Tourism in Turkey


Have you ever wondered why Turkey is ranked as one of the best tourist destinations in the whole world?

There is much more to Turkey than merely being a gateway to European markets. It is a tourist's paradise and a significant trading hub for the entire world. Here are some little-known facts about tourism in Turkey that will force you to quickly apply for Turkey visa and head to this exotic destination.


Turkey Tourism Quick Facts:

  • In 2018, Turkey was ranked as the 6th most widely preferred tourist destinations globally.
  • In Forbes's top ten rankings, Turkey is the 8th most visited destination in the world.
  • Turkey is at 4th place in UNWTO's list of Europe's most popular tourist destinations.
  • Around 46 million travelers arrived in Turkey in 2018.
  • There are 55 airports in Turkey with an astounding 50 million annual passenger capacity and 21 airports facilitating international flights.
  • A total of 16 airlines carry passengers to Turkey.
  • Turkish Airlines is amongst the youngest fleet in Europe with 306 planes.
  • Roughly 39 Marinas are offering 50.000-yacht capacity in Turkey.
  • There are around 9000 license tourist guides in the country and 7198 travel agencies.


Which Nationalities Visited Turkey the Most in 2019?

Russians top the list of nationalities preferring to travel to Turkey for tourism purposes in 2019 with 15.6% and roughly 7million visitors.

Germans happen to be the second largest nationality to visit Turkey, with 11.2% of all tourists or approximately 5 million.

Bulgarians are at number three, with 6% or 2.7 million visitors.


Is Turkey Giving Tough Competition to Europe's Tourism Front-runner Spain?

According to a study from the Mediterranean Travel Operators Association, Turkey has indeed become the regional leader in tourism, a status Spain has enjoyed from the past couple of years.

The country reported a tourism boom in 2019. Tourism revenue jumped to 17%, and the number of visitors recorded a 14.1% increase the previous year. This indicates that Turkey has become the main competitor in the European tourism sector.

In 2014, the number of nights foreign visitors spent in Spain was 123.7 million, while Turkey welcomed 104.3 million visitors. There was a difference of 19.4 million in the number of nights tourists spent in Turkey and Spain back then.

The gap widened between 2016 and 2017, which is when tourism declined in Turkey due to the political unrest. In 2017, the number of nights foreigners spent in Turkey dropped to 74 million, creating a difference of 58 million between Turkey and Spain.

Since 2018, tourism in Turkey has started flourishing again. During the first 10 months of 2019, visitors spent around 123.7 million nights in Turkey, while nights spent in Spain increased to 137.3 million.


Turkey's Tourism Revenue Recording New Highs:

  • Turkey's tourism revenue reached an all-time high in 2019, with a whopping $34.5 billion.
  • According to the Turkish Statistical Institute, this figure is 17% higher from $29.5 billion in 2018.
  • The country's average per capita expenditure recorded a substantial increase from $647 in 2018 to $666 in 2019.
  • Visitors in Turkey spent nearly $1billion on accommodation and $1.1 billion on food and beverages in 2019.
  • A majority of foreign visitors arrived in Turkey to participate in entertainment, cultural, sportive activities apart from tourism.
  • In 2019, Turkey welcomed 51.9 million visitors, registering a 13.7% rise from 2018.
  • About 86.2% of visitors arriving in Turkey in 2019 were foreigners, and 13.8% were Turkish citizens living abroad.
  • Turkish Culture and Tourism Ministry reported a 14.1% surge in the number of foreign visitors arriving in Turkey annually, which was higher than the year 2018 statistics.


Top Tourist Destinations in Turkey:

  • Istanbul continues to be Turkey's most famous touristic city in the world. It was the top arriving destination in 2019, with around 15 million foreigners preferring to visit Istanbul, accounting for 33% of all foreign travelers.
  • The second most famous tourist destination in Turkey is the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya. Antalya received 14.65 million foreign visitors in 2019.
  • At number three in the list of top tourist arrival destinations in Turkey is the northwestern province of Edirne. This city shares borders with Greece and Bulgaria. Edirne welcomed around 4.3 million foreigners in 2019.


Why do Foreigners love Turkey?

  • Turkey is a golfer's haven with 18 state-of-the-art golf courses in Belek Region.
  • The country boasts of the exceptional historical heritage of ancient civilizations.
  • There are roughly 5522 archaeological sites in Turkey under protection.
  • Turkey has 23 hotels and clubs equipped with world-class golf fields.
  • Turkey is home to seventeen UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Thirteen of these are cultural sites.
  • The country has around 436 beaches, and 22 marinas have been awarded the coveted Blue Flag Marina status since 2015.
  • There are nearly 34 Thermal Tourism Centers in the country's 17 provinces.
  • Turkey has over 27 Winter Sports Centers and 28 Highland Tourism Centers.
  • This exotic tourist destination boasts of 40 official National Parks and 31 official Natural Protection Areas
  • There are over 300 wetland areas in Turkey.


FAQs About Tourism in Turkey

Do you need a visa to go to turkey?

As on 2 March 2020 Turkey government announced, British tourists will no longer require a visa to travel to Turkey. British citizens can enter Turkey without a visa and they can stay for 90 days within a 180-day period.  If you are not from visa-free countries, you must apply for Turkish visa online. This includes people who want to travel to Turkey for holiday, business purpose.

How to get Turkish visa online?

To successfully obtain a Turkish visa, the traveller must have the following:

  • Passport with a minimum validity of 150 days from the date of arrival.
  • An email address where notifications and Turkey visas will be sent.
  • Debit/credit card and paypal account for payment of visa fees.

Get more information about Turkish visa requirements

What is an interesting fact about Turkey?

It has one of the world’s biggest and oldest malls. Santa Claus belongs to Turkey. Turkey is packed with cultural heritage as you might discover chicken in your dessert. Here is one of the Mediterranean’s primary sea turtle nesting beaches. Turkey presented tulips to the whole world. In Turkey, the seeds of agriculture were first sown.

Is Turkey open for tourism?

Including U.S, Turkey’s international borders are wide open for travellers from a various countries. However, travellers should note a couple of precautions too like
The U.S. State Department’s travel advisory guide lists Turkey at Level 2: Exercise Increased Caution, due to concerns over arbitrary detention and terrorism. Travelers are powerfully guided to ignore the zone bordering Syria and Iraq due to terrorist activity. Level 4: Do Not Travel the highest tier of caution due to COVID-19 relation. Before entering Turkey, travellers will still require to apply for visa to Turkey. It can take few minutes if you can do so via e-visa application.

Can I travel to Turkey right now?

All travellers must onboard flights inbound for Turkey and wear masks in the airport. Stay at hotels with identifiable security measures, Stay vigilant in locations frequented by Westerners, Ignore crowds and demonstrations, and adjust your plan of action based on new details and Monitor local media. Upon arrival, travellers will be requested to fill out a passenger information form and go through medical screenings for infection, and anyone showing manifestation upon arrival will be tested for covid-19. Human being who tests positive will be refered to a Turkish hospital for treatment and isolation.

Is Turkey good for tourism?

In particular, Istanbul straddling Asia and Europe as Turkey has a mix of traditions and culture all over the area, a LOAD of amazing landscapes like the fairy chimneys of Cappadocia blended incredible history as well as beach resorts. Turkey is pretty chill out place to dive in its planet.
Turkey still remains a dissolving pot of different cultures, as it is safe to visit as formerly the heart of the Ottoman Empire. Joint its historical cities with miles upon miles of glittering coastline, add incredible natural landscapes to discover and very friendly images to a great degree of incredibly chill cocktail of a nation.

Is it safe to visit Turkey 2020?

Turkey has open again its air, sea, and land borders to all international tourists from June 12. As long as you encounter the Turkish immigration guidelines, you can be a member to any nationality and fly to Turkey.
Depends on your purpose of the visit and country of origin, you may travel sticker visa, visa-free (Turkey visa free), or with an Turkey e visa.

What is interesting about Turkey?

Turkey is the fourth biggest producer of grapes in the world, and was one of the earliest wine producing areas, the whirling dervishes, whose ancient order originate in konya, whirl as an act of devotion to Almighty, Istanbul is the only city in the Universe which mount two continents- Europe and Asia, the Turks set in motion cherries and coffee to the Europe, Designed is prized in Turkey, which is brightened in the country’s range of exceptional Boutique properties.

Why is Turkey famous for?

Turkey is known for a various set of both oriental and European components from the majestic Hagia Sophia and conventional Turkish tea. It’s also known for its carpets, sweet treats like Turkish delights and baklava, bazaars and hammam , destinations like Istanbul and Cappadocia. You won’t explore anywhere else with its huge landmass and unique geography, this Land of the Crescent Moonis dotted with engrossing details.

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