Turkey’s Antalya hosts record number of tourists in January


Some 186,225 tourists visited Turkey’s touristic southern province of Antalya in January, breaking an all-time record, Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED) President Sururi Çorabatır told the state-run Anadolu Agency on Sunday.

The number of tourists visiting the popular destination rose by 31 percent since the same period last year, Çorabatır said.

Antalya, lauded for its cheap prices, is popular with German and Russian tourists in particular. 

Tax incentives by the Turkish government and 2018’s currency crisis that wiped some 30 percent off the Lira’s value against the dollar have resulted in favourable conditions for foreign tourists, who can find excellent value for money at the current exchange rate.

The number of Russian tourists had declined after a crisis between the two countries in 2015 when Turkey downed a Russian jet for violating its airspace, but the numbers have shot up again since mending ties and 5.5 million Russian tourists visited Turkey in 2019, increasing by 16 percent from the previous year.

In 2019, Turkey hosted 51.7 million tourists, bringing in $34.5 billion in revenue, Çorabatır said.

Early reservations from Germany have improved since last year, while Russian reservations will start in April, he added. The sector expects double-digit growth in 2020, and to host more than 57 million tourists.

A possible slump from the Chinese market due to the coronavirus outbreak, which has killed more than 900 people and spread to at least 27 countries and regions, could be compensated for later in the tourism season, Çorabatır said.