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Turkey’s tourism revenue rises 33% to $8.7bn in Q1 2023

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The number of properties purchased by foreigners fell by 38% year-on-year to 16,779 units in first five months of 2023

Turkey’s tourism revenue rose 33 percent in the first quarter of 2023 to $8.69 billion, driven by a surge in foreign arrivals, said Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) in a report.

Tourism revenue is paramount for the government to reduce the current account deficit to tackle high inflation and interest rates, Daily Sabah newspaper said.

The country received 8.2 million visitors between January and March, up 26.8 percent year-over-year, with 20.4 percent of the total arrivals being Turkish expatriates.

Foreign visitors surged 80.33 percent year on year to 44.6 million in 2022, falling slightly below the pre-pandemic figure of 45.1 million in 2019. Total arrivals stood at 24.71 million in 2021 and 12.73 million in 2020.

In 2022, revenue climbed 53.4 percent from 2021 to reach $46.3 billion, driven by Russians partly due to travel restrictions imposed by Western nations on Moscow, as well as European countries, led by Germany and the United Kingdom.

Turkey reported tourism revenue of $38.4 billion in 2019 before the pandemic, which fell to $14.8 billion in 2020.

The government expects tourist arrivals to reach 60 million in 2023 before hitting 90 million in 2028, with revenue forecast at $56 billion in 2023 and $100 billion by 2028.

The average spending per night of each visitor reached $84 in the first quarter, with the average total expenditure at $1,062 per capita.

Tourism contributes about 10 percent to Turkey’s gross domestic product, offering jobs to 1.7 million people in 2022, which is about five percent of total employment, the news report said.

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