World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) Secretary-General Taleb Rifai has praised the 30 percent growth of Turkey’s tourism sector in 2017.
Turkish tourism has recovered “impressively” this year following the coup attempt and terrorist attacks in 2016, Rifai said in a news conference in Geneva on Dec. 19, state-run Anadolu Agency reported.
“The recovery is incredible. This year is particularly incredible. We have seen 30 percent growth from January to October this year, which means the recovery is impressively strong,” Rifai said, referring to the problematic year of 2016, when Turkish tourism was hit by a series of crises.
“Tourism is a sensitive industry. It is affected by any external shock. But it is also an exceptionally resilient industry. The effects are short-term. If the destination has a strong tourism tradition, it never gets completely wiped out. The sector regenerates quickly. This trend applies to Turkey, a country that has developed a strong tourism standing over the last 30 to 40 years,” he said.
The UNWTO has predicted that next year Turkish tourism will reach the same high levels as two years ago.
Meanwhile, Turkey expects 31.4 million tourists to visit the country this year and tourism revenues to reach $26 billion, Tourism Minister Numan Kurtulmuş said on Dec. 19.
Turkey also forecasts over 38 million arrivals in 2018, the minister told Turkish broadcaster Haber.
The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey plunged to 25.3 million in 2016, down from 36.2 million in the previous year. Nearly 36.8 million foreigners visited Turkey in 2014.
The downturn slashed the country’s 2016 tourism revenue to $22.11 billion, down from $31.46 billion in 2015.