By Samer Batter
In 2014, half a million GCC visitors, mainly from Saudi, the UAE and Kuwaiti, visited Turkey
After a series of blows due to the terror attacks and the failed military coup last year, Turkey’s tourism sector is expected to recover in 2018, according to World Tourism Forum president Bulut Bag.
Turkey’s tourism sector, which brings wealth to the country equivalent to oil for other countries, will recover due to the notable improvement in Turkish-Russian relations, which is expected to bring an influx of tourists from Russia and neighbouring countries in the coming year, he explained.
“The tourism sector is extremely flexible and is capable of meeting all challenges,” Bag told Arabian Business.
“The Turkish economy also was exceptionally flexible in handling different challenges. Turkey is the sixth biggest global tourism destination for visitors and it annually receives 40 million tourists. Turkey is as safe as Spain, France, Germany and the UK,” he pointed out.
Turkish tourism revenues declined by 29.7 percent in 2016 to $22 billion, with foreign tourists accounting for 72.8 percent in the same year, according to the Turkish Statistics Foundation.
Turks living abroad constituted 27.2 percent of total visitors whose figures declined by 24.6 percent to 31.3 million in 2016. In 2014, half a million GCC visitors, mainly from Saudi, the UAE and Kuwaiti, visited Turkey.
Turkey was also named third as one of the top developers of “Halal” environmental eco systems by the 2016-2017 Global Islamic Economy Report, following Malaysia in second and UAE in first position.
After the horrific massacre of mainly Arab tourists in an Istanbul nightclub, very few Arab tourists will consider traveling to Turkey.
Everyone takes their safety very seriously, and as long as the terrorist threat as well as the political tensions remain, tourists will continue to shun Turkey and the tourism industry in Turkey won't recover the next few years.
Turkish politics, i.e Erdogan seem to be getting more extreme if anything which can only lead to further tensions. This is sad because Turkey and it people are wonderful & friendly