NEWS Tourism        23/03/2020

Foreigners visiting Turkey increased by 3.8% in February 2020

According to figures published by the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the number of foreigners visiting Turkey in February 2020 increased by 3.8% to 1,733,112 compared with the figure for the same month of the previous year. This small increase was despite the coronavirus pandemic which started to spread globally from China since the beginning of this year. The number of visitors from China in February 2020 fell 81.8% to 5,644.

 

The number of OECD Europeans visiting Turkey in February 2020 improved to 475,226, 10.3% more than the figure for the same month of the previous year. The largest European contingent was from Germany with 159,084 visitors, up 19.1% on the number for the same month of the previous year, followed by the UK with 50,819 visitors, up 10%, by France with 44,930 visitors, up 12.2%, and by Greece with 42,875 visitors, down 7.8%. The number of visitors from Turkey’s Black Sea neighbours continued to increase in February 2020, with 152,344 visitors from Bulgaria, up 8.3%, with 132,539 visitors from Georgia, up 10.1%, with 107,178 visitors from Russia, up 22.2%, with 132,539 visitors from Azerbaijan, up 10.1%, and with 39,304 visitors from Ukraine, up 2.7%. Visitors from two of Turkey’s southern neighbours have shown a downturn in February 2020. Visitors from Iran fell 11.5% to 97,547 visitors as a result of Turkey closing its border with Iran on February 23rd as a result of the increasing number of coronavirus cases in that country. The number of visitors from Iraq only increased by 0.9% to 91,842 visitors.

 

The total number of foreigners visiting Turkey in the first two months of 2020 increased by 9.7% to 3,520,547 compared with the same period of the previous year. The number of OECD Europeans visiting Turkey in the first two months of 2020 was 860,391, 10.7% more than the figure for the same period of the previous year. The largest European contingent was from Germany with 281,500 visitors, up 19.4%, followed by Greece with 91,112 visitors, down 3.6%, by the UK with 88,479 visitors, up 9.8%, by France with 76,286 visitors, up 12.1%, and by Holland with 64,699 visitors, up 11.9%. The number of visitors from Russia increased by 32.5% to 237,786, from Azerbaijan by 9.7% to 106,931, from Ukraine by 4.8% to 79,413, from Bulgaria by 14.6% to 314,543, from Iraq by 5.8% to 171,480, from Iran by 5.5% to 218,074, and from Georgia by 14% to 265,213.

 

The total number of foreigners visiting Turkey in the year 2019 increased by 14.1% to 45,058,286 compared with the previous year. The number of OECD Europeans visiting Turkey in the year 2019 was 15,162,487, 16% more than the figure for the previous year. The largest European contingent was from Germany with 5,027,472, up 11.4%, followed by the UK with 2,562,064 visitors, up 13.6%, by Holland with 1,117,290 visitors, up 10.2%, by Poland with 880,839 visitors, up 36.3%, by France with 875,957 visitors, up 19.8%, and by Greece with 836,882 visitors, up 21.8%. The number of visitors from Russia increased by 17.7% to 7,017,657, from Ukraine by 11.6% to 1,547,996 visitors, from Bulgaria by 13.7% to 2,713,464 visitors, from Iraq by 17.2% to 1,374,896 visitors, and from Iran by 5.1% to 2,102,890 visitors. The number of visitors from Georgia decreased by 3.6% to 1,995,254 in 2019. The total number of visitors coming to Turkey in 2019 including Turkish citizens residing abroad is 51,747,199 visitors, a 12.2% increase on the figure for the previous year. The number of Turkish citizens residing abroad who came to Turkey in 2019 was 6,688,913 visitors, a 1% increase on the previous year. 

 

The continued upward trend in the number of tourists coming to Turkey in 2019, when the total foreign visitors surpassed 45 million, a new record, has been a very satisfactory development in Turkey’s tourism sector, and a great boost to the Turkish economy as a whole at a time of ongoing economic recession. The inflow of much needed foreign currency has been a crucial bonus. This trend was expected to continue in 2020 and the years thereafter, but the coronavirus pandemic which has put a brake on global travelling as from the beginning of this year, with the closure of borders with neighbouring countries and the halting of passenger flights with a growing number of countries. The pandemic will mean that there will be no foreign visitors coming to Turkey in the coming months, and this is likely to continue for the rest of the year.



Turkey’s net minimum wage has been raised 21.56% to TL 2,825.90 (USD 380) as of 01.01.2021       Migration communication helpline 157 available for foreigners in Turkey       Read our homepage articles on developments in the Turkish economy       Turkey’s official annual inflation rate increases to 17.53% in June 2021       Turkey’s official unemployment rate decreases to 13.2% in May 2021       Read our BUSINESS section for latest sectoral and corporate news       Turkey’s population is 83,614,362 as of 2020 yearend       Foreigners visiting Turkey in 2020 falls by 71.7% to 12.7 million       Turkey’s private sector foreign debt is USD 173.9 billion as of 2020 yearend       Turkey’s economy grew by 1.8% in 2020       Foreign Direct Investment inflow to Turkey was USD 7.7 billion in 2020