With a total of 51 million foreign visitors, with Istanbul, Ernst & Young (EY) been the most visited cities, Türkiye secured the 5th spot as the country hosting the most tourists in 2022.
According to Daily Sabah, this was announced by an independent international audit and consultancy company, in its global tourism sector assessment report for 2023.
According to the report, also shared by Anadolu Agency (AA) Monday, sustainable and environmentally friendly travel options have been given increasing priority, with carbon footprint-reducing flights, green accommodation and ecologically conscious tourist activities playing a decisive role in travel choices. The report also announced that in the first half of 2023, an increase of 21% was observed in visits compared to the first half of 2022, reflecting 22 million.
The report stated that Istanbul hosted some 11.5 million foreign visitors in H1 and noted that the rate of foreign visitors visiting Istanbul in the first half of 2023 increased by 16.22% compared to the same period of the previous year. On the other hand, Russia, Germany, Iran, the United States, Saudi Arabia and the United Kingdom ranked first in the number of visitors to Istanbul, similar to previous years, the EY report said.
While Istanbul alone hosted some 16.02 million foreign tourists last year, the report cited the arrivals were spearheaded by tourists from Russia, which accounted for 9.33% of the total visitors, followed by Germany (7.72%) and Iran (6.85%). The report states that Türkiye’s tourism revenues increased by 27% annually in the first half of 2023, reaching $21.7 billion. It was noted that the Champions League final played between Inter Milan and Manchester City in Istanbul on June 10 provided an economic contribution of approximately 75 million euros ($80 million) to the host city.
The report also highlighted the growing interest in health tourism in Türkiye. It was noted that over 746,000 individuals visited Türkiye for health service purposes in the first six months of 2023. While the report indicated that the revenue from health tourism surpassed the $1.03 billion figure, it was stated that the Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) predicts the country would host more than 1.8 million health tourists in 2023, an increase of approximately 30% when compared to a year ago.
At the same time, the report touched upon the Turkish position in cruise tourism, citing it has become one of the “leading countries” in the sector due to the investments made in recent years. It said that more than 483,000 people visited Türkiye by cruise in the first half of 2023. According to the report, the travel and tourism sector worldwide contributed 7.6% to the global gross domestic product (GDP) in 2022.
The report emphasizes that the contribution of Türkiye’s tourism revenues to GDP has increased from 2.1% to 5.1% in the last three years. It was announced that package tour expenditures in Türkiye increased by 83.4% and travel services expenditures increased by 82.1% in 2022 compared to the previous year.