Despite Turkey’s economic crisis, its tourism industry is thriving, with income hitting a decade high. The weak lira, trading near record lows, has made it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers seeking bargains. More than 22 million tourists visited in H1 2023, up from 18.4 million in 2022. While businesses note visitors spending less on
Despite Turkey’s economic crisis, its tourism industry is thriving, with income hitting a decade high. The weak lira, trading near record lows, has made it an attractive destination for budget-conscious travelers seeking bargains. More than 22 million tourists visited in H1 2023, up from 18.4 million in 2022. While businesses note visitors spending less on arrival due to inflation, the appeal of affordable travel in Turkey remains strong, benefiting the tourism sector amid economic challenges. While inflation has also soared in Turkey, the country’s currency depreciation has made it relatively cheaper compared to traditionally inexpensive European destinations.
The fall of the lira against major currencies, especially the euro, has allowed Turkey to compete with affordable European destinations like Portugal, despite Turkish consumer prices rising almost 50% over the past year. For cost-conscious travelers, Turkey has become an attractive option for more affordable travel experiences. The European Travel Commission’s executive director, Eduardo Santander, pointed out that Turkey fits the bill for those seeking budget-friendly travel.
The positive impact on Turkey’s tourism industry is evident in the numbers. In the first half of 2023, more than 22 million people visited Turkey, up from 18.4 million in the same period in 2022, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute. Tourism income reached nearly $22 billion during the same six-month period in 2023, marking the highest level on record since 2012. The influx of tourists is also expected to help the government narrow the record current account deficit.
However, despite the rise in tourist arrivals, businesses have noted that visitors seem less willing to spend money once they arrive. High inflation in Turkey has forced businesses to increase prices, reducing the number of bargains available for cost-conscious travelers. The average visitor is spending fewer nights in Turkey, indicating that budget-conscious travelers are likely seeking shorter stays to manage expenses. Additionally, many tourists prefer all-inclusive resorts, where everything is pre-paid, reducing the need for spending while on vacation.
Though Turkey’s tourism industry is experiencing a boost due to the weak lira, challenges remain for businesses in the sector. Rising inflation and labor costs, as well as competition from other affordable resorts, have put pressure on the industry. Nevertheless, with the ongoing appeal of Turkey as a budget-friendly destination, the country’s tourism sector is expected to remain resilient and continue attracting visitors seeking affordable travel experiences.