Yeni Safak – One of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, Turkey, earned TRY 13.5 billion (approx. USD 6.9 billion) from its millions of visitors in the first six months of the year. The revenue from tourism, oftentimes called the industry without a chimney, rose 28.4 percent from the same period of 2012.
Turkey’s foreign visitors, constituting 84.6 percent of arrivals in the country between January-June period, spent an average of 817 dollars while Turkish nationals living abroad, accounting for 15.4 percent of the visitors, spent 1389 dollars per head, according to recently released Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) data.
Having witnessed a steady increase in foreign arrivals in recent years - an annual average of 8.2 percent between 2007-2012 - Turkey is the 6th most popular tourist destination according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization’s (UNWTO) Tourism Highlights 2012 Edition. The Mediterranean nation attracted a total of 31.8 million foreign visitors in 2012, achieving a total revenue of USD 23.4 billion.
The country aims to welcome 48.5 million tourists a year between the years 2014-18, according to the government’s 10th 5-year development plan, generating USD 45 billion of tourism income.