As the world's tenth most popular holiday destination and with more than 38.6 million tourists in 2017, Turkey continues to offer major investment opportunities in both the already established and emerging sub-sectors of the industry.
With its favorable location, potential, mega-projects and ambitious targets for 2023, the tourism industry continues to grow at a rate that exceeds its bed capacity. Although there has been a rush of investment in recent years, there is still plenty of room for new projects. Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia both offer untapped potential for cultural tourism as well as the increasingly popular boutique hotel concept, which blends in well with the distinctive nature, history and culture of these regions.
Here are some key facts and figures about the Turkish tourism sector:
• Turkey was the tenth most popular holiday destination in the world in 2016, according to UNWTO.
• According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 38.6 million foreign tourists arrived in Turkey in 2017, while total tourism industry revenue for the same year was $ 26 billion.
• Growth in the Turkish tourism industry has been above the global average in recent years and the industry's direct contribution to the current account deficit in 2017 was 36 percent.
• By the end of 2017, there were 12,856 registered overnight accommodations. 9,186 of these facilities were approved by their respective communities, while the remaining 3,670 had tourism operating licenses. The total bed capacity of these facilities exceeds 1,482,492.
• There are currently 281 projects in the pipeline that would increase Turkey's scarce supply of beds by 74,130 urgently needed beds.
• In the field of religious tourism, Turkey is one of the few countries in the world to host the sites of a number of major religions. Of a total of 316 relics, 167 are Islamic, 129 are Christian and 20 are Jewish.
• Antalya is the most popular city in Turkey, based on the number of incoming foreign tourists. In 2017, 25 percent of foreign tourists visited the city of Antalya with more than 500 4 and 5-star hotels in the center and in the surrounding cities such as Kemer, Belek and Kaş.
• The number of hotel chains and groups in Turkey has doubled since 2001 and is now 165. The number of hotels in these 165 chains was 824. 82 percent of chain and group hotels are in domestic, 15 percent are foreign-owned, 3 percent are partnerships domestic and foreign partners.
• Turkey has 7,200 km of coastline and ranks second with 454 Blue Flag beaches among 38 countries with Blue Flag beaches; only Spain has 579 more excellent beaches. Turkey also has 22 Blue Flag marinas.
• In terms of geothermal tourism potential, Turkey ranks among the top 7 countries in the world and ranks first in Europe with 1,500 thermal springs. Bed capacity at the various thermal spa resorts is 55,140.
• The Belek region is one of the most important golfing regions in Turkey and is a popular tourist center with 15 golf courses, 50,000 beds and 2 million tourists. Belek was also named "Best Golf Destination in Europe" by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators (IAGTO) in 2008.
• Based on 2017 tourism figures, Forbes Travel has identified the top 10 most visited cities in the world, with Istanbul coming in 6th.
• The tourism sector has targeted 50 million tourists a year and annual sales of $ 50 billion by 2023.
• The Turkish government provides incentives such as reduced utility costs and lower tax rates, and issues guidelines to remove any bureaucratic obstacles that could hinder growth in the tourism sector.
COUNTRY, CITY, REGIONS
▸ Company Locations and Countries
Turkey - Istanbul
1. Region Mediterranean Region 2. Eastern Anatolia region 3. Aegean region 4. Southeast Anatolia region
5. Central Anatolia region 6. Black Sea region
7. Marmara region