UPDATE WITH FIGURES FROM MINISTRY OF CULTURE AND TOURISM
By Tuba Sahin
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's tourism revenue reached $11.5 billion this July-September, the country's statistical authority announced on Wednesday.
The country's revenue rose 1 percent in the third quarter of 2018, up from $11.4 billion in the same quarter in 2017, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said in a statement.
Nearly 82 percent of the income (excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditures) was earned from foreign visitors, while 18.2 percent was received from Turkish citizens living abroad.
Turkey welcomed 18.8 million visitors between July and September, a rise of 12.7 percent from the same period last year — 84.7 percent foreign citizens and 15.3 percent Turkish citizens living abroad.
The average expenditure per capita in the third quarter of 2018 was $612.
"In this quarter, while the average expenditure of the foreigners was $589 per capita, the average expenditure of Turkish citizen residents abroad was $724 per capita," TurkStat said.
Turkstat said visitors spent the most on food and beverages, accommodation, and transport between July and September.
Foreign visitors spent over $904 million on shoes and clothes and $354 million on souvenirs in addition to $23.9 million on carpets and rugs.
The primary reason for foreign visitors' trips — 57.5 percent — was "travel, entertainment, sports and cultural activities," followed by “visiting relatives and friends” — 9.9 percent.
According to TurkStat, their top accommodation choice was hotel/motel/pension.
The number of Turkish citizens visiting abroad dropped 9.9 percent to reach 2.3 million people during the same period, with average spending of $534 per capita.
– Turkey hosts 37 million visitors in Jan.-Sept.
In the first nine months of this year, Turkey hosted 37 million visitors from abroad, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism announced Wednesday.
The number of visitors from January to September rose 21.4 percent year-on-year, the ministry data showed.
Around 32 million foreign tourists visited the country with a 23 percent increase during the same period, said the culture and tourism minister.
“It looks like we will pass 40 million [tourists] and break Turkey’s record,” Mehmet Nuri Ersoy told Anadolu Agency’s Editor’s Desk.
Russians made the largest chunk of foreign visitors at 5.1 million, accounting for 16 percent of all foreign visitors.
It was followed by Germany (3.6 million visitors), the U.K. (1.9 million visitors), Bulgaria (1.7 million visitors) and Iran (1.69 million visitors).
The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya welcomed the highest number of foreign visitors with nearly 11 million from January to September.
Istanbul was the second popular destination among all cities in Turkey with 10.1 million visitors during the same period.