Turkish travellers scrapping vacation to visit family, friends - study

The largest numbers of travellers in Turkey are not vacationing in the popular sense, but are instead visiting out of town friends and relatives, who they are lodging with, a survey conducted by the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) found.

Visits to friends and family comprised 67 percent of journeys made within the country, followed by leisure travel at 17.9 percent and health-related travel at 6.6. percent, according to the TÜİK study for January-March 2019.

A total of 83,989 overnight trips took place in the first four months of the year, where travellers in Turkey stayed with their friends and relatives, the study found.

Turks are quicker to return home than before, the study found, with a 9 percent decrease in trips that involve two or more nights of accommodation, compared to the same time period in 2018.

The country’s ailing economy and soaring inflation has made travelling a luxury for working class Turks. The lira has dropped more than 10 percent against the dollar this year, adding to losses of 28 percent in 2018.

In fact, 60 percent of Turkish citizens cannot afford to vacation for one week, according to a 2019 study by Eurostat.

Turks on average spent 7.6 nights away from home while travelling during this time, spending 496 liras ($ 90.6) per each trip.

The spending of 10,932,000 local tourists in the first quarter of 2019, rose by 10.8 percent to hit 6.9 billion liras (1.25 billion), and of this amount, 96 percent was accounted for by personally arranged trips (6.7 billion lira) and 4 percent of trips were agency-booked (281.7 million lira).