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Turkey pins hopes on return of Gulf tourists

A lake and popular camping spot near Adapazari. Turkish tourism officials expect a 20% rise in arrivals from the Mena region
A lake and popular camping spot near Adapazari. Turkish tourism officials expect a 20% rise in arrivals from the Mena region

Turkey is anticipating an increase in visitors from the Gulf countries in the coming months, following devastating earthquakes and Ramadan.

Foreign tourist arrivals in the first quarter rose over 26.7 percent year-on-year to 6.2 million, reported the Daily Sabah newspaper, citing data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Industry officials expect an average 20 percent increase in Gulf tourist arrivals from June.

“A powerful momentum will begin in our country from the second week of June, with the schools going on a break here,” Muberra Eresin, head of the Turkish Hoteliers Association, was quoted as saying.

“We expect a 20 percent increase in the number of tourists coming from the region this year compared to last year,” Eresin added.

Almost 5 million tourists arrived last year from the Gulf and Middle Eastern countries. The number is expected to reach at least 6 million this year.

“They come to Istanbul and go to provinces such as Yalova, Bursa and Trabzon. Therefore, the contribution to city hotels is enormous. In addition, their long stays also contribute to tourism revenues,” she said.

Tourism income rose 32.3 percent year-on-year to $8.7 billion in the first three months of this year, according to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute.

The government said foreign arrivals and income would likely reach 60 million and $56 billion in 2023 before hitting 90 million and $100 billion in 2028.

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