Türkiye drives post-pandemic tourism recovery in Europe: Report

Turkey’s tourism sector achieved the most significant recovery among European countries in the post-pandemic era with a 61% increase in demand compared to 2019, according to a November report by the European Travel Commission (ETC).

ETC’s “Tourism Trends and Forecast in Europe” report stated that Turkey positioned itself in first place while there was a rapid recovery in tourism demand similar to that of 2019 across Europe.

“Europe’s return to travel will continue through the remaining months of 2022, led by cost-conscious and value-driven travel,” the report said.

“All things considered; the European continent is expected to recover to close to 75% of inbound travel volumes in 2019 by the end of 2022.”

The report said that “travel enthusiasm continued this summer, with more than half of the reported destinations recovering to at least 77% of 2019 levels of foreign arrivals”, stressing that the recovery was mainly led by southern Mediterranean destinations.

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“Based on data for August, Turkey, Serbia and Luxembourg made the strongest comeback,” it said.

“While Turkey remains an equivalent destination, Serbia is open to Russian travelers without visa requirements. Indeed, there has been an influx of Russians arriving in Serbia,” they added.

The sharpest declines in tourist arrivals, the report states, were recorded in the Baltic states, Finland, Romania and Slovakia. Currently, the Baltic states have a ban on war-related travel to Russia while Slovakia has suspended tourist visa applications for Russians.

Turkey’s tourism revenues remained on the growth path throughout the year.

In the first 10 months of the year, the number of foreign visitors climbed 88.1% to 39.61 million, a pace roughly in line with 2019’s pre-pandemic levels, according to the latest figures.

The 10-month figure was 21.1 million in 2021, 11.2 million in 2020 and 40.7 million in 2019, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism said recently.

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In addition to the influx from Russia, this year’s recovery was due to a big leap in demand from Europe, led by Germany and the UK.

Istanbul, Turkey’s most famous and most populous province, was the first draw for foreign visitors, welcoming 13.4 million tourists from January to October this year.

It was followed by the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya with 12.2 million visitors, while Edirne, a northwestern province bordering Bulgaria and Greece, welcomed nearly 4 million tourists, the data showed.

Germans accounted for 13.3% of all visitors in the 10-month period with 5.3 million, followed by Russians with 4.6 million, British 3.2 million, Bulgarians 2.3 million and Iranians with 2 million.

If Turkish citizens living abroad are added to the count, the 10-month figure reaches 45 million.

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The ETC report, meanwhile, further showed that January-September figures relative to 2021 show strong performance in the European hotel industry compared to other regions.

“Driven by strong occupancy rates, up 62% from year-ago levels and a 30.1% increase in ADR (average daily rate) alongside increased travel demand, Europe recorded a 111% increase in RevPAR (available room revenue),” it said There. .

According to him, European airlines held up well this summer, with August flight volumes down only 11% compared to 2019.

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