Turkey: Domestic tourism expenditure up nearly 25 pct

By Muhammed Ali Gurtas

ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's domestic tourism expenditure rose 24.9 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of this year, according to the country's statistical authority on Monday.

TurkStat reported that domestic tourists’ expenditures — including individual and package tour expenditures — from January to March totaled 6.3 billion Turkish liras ($1.65 billion), compared to spending of some 5 billion Turkish liras ($1.36 billion) in the same period last year.

"In this quarter, while 94.2 percent of domestic tourism expenditure was individual with 5.94 billion Turkish liras, 5.8 percent of it was package tour expenditures with 364.6 million Turkish liras," the institute said.

According to Turkey's Central Bank, the average U.S. dollar/Turkish lira exchange rate was 3.82 in the first quarter of this year, while one dollar traded for 3.70 liras on average in the same period last year.

"In this quarter, domestic visitors made 112.8 million overnights," TurkStat said, noting that the average number of overnights was 7.3 and the average expenditure per trip was 407 Turkish liras (some $107).

According to the official data, nearly 11.9 million residents took internal trips in the first quarter while the number of journeys with one or more than one overnights amounted to some 15.5 million with an annual hike of 22.3 percent.