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Foreign tourists visiting Türkiye are spending more, figures show

 Foreign tourists visiting Türkiye are spending more in 2023 than the previous year, contributing significantly to tourism revenues and the country’s economy, according to industry insiders.

Hamit Kuk, chief advisor to the president of the Turkish Travel Agencies Association, said the average spending of foreigners hit 942 U.S. dollars during the first nine months of this year, according to the latest statistics, up from 905 dollars during the same period in 2022.

“The tourism sector is one of the most important sectors that has a direct impact on the Turkish economy, as it provides direct cash inflows,” Kuk said, noting that the sector is crucial to closing the foreign trade deficit and has a direct impact on employment.

Approximately 1.5 million people work in the tourism industry, the expert said, and dozens of subsidiary sectors relate to it. “Therefore, any increase in tourism revenues directly influences other sectors’ production turnover, and thus affects employment,” Kuk added.

Türkiye’s tourism sector has been operating at around 60 percent capacity due to a series of factors, Kuk pointed out, adding when it reaches full capacity, “revenues will skyrocket.”

According to the Visa Travel Intentions Survey, which monitors international travel trends, foreign tourists stay in Türkiye for an average of 11 days and spend an average of 2,900 dollars in 2023.

The survey noted that this figure goes up to 4,015 dollars for families traveling with children aged older than 12.

Meanwhile, the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s latest data showed that Turkish tourism revenue reached 42 billion dollars during the first nine months of 2023, increasing by 20 percent compared to last year.

The ministry also said that Türkiye had attracted 52.7 million tourists in the first 11 months of this year.

“These data indicate that the development is extremely positive,” despite a series of adverse conditions, such as the Russia-Ukraine crisis and the Israel-Hamas conflict, Mafi Egilmez, an economist, wrote on his website.

“Such a positive atmosphere shows those who are affected by these situations and change their holiday plans are immediately filled by others,” Egilmez said, noting “Türkiye seems to be setting a record in tourism in 2023.” ■

Famagusta Gazette