Tourism report: Russians run to beaches, Arabs delight in shopping, Greeks look for deals

Published 18.12.2019 20:50
Updated 20.12.2019 02:30

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry carried out a study that aimed to explore the holiday preferences and expectations of holidaymakers from a total of 25 countries, from where it receives the highest number of tourists, seeking to understand their travel strategies and their travel motivations in international trips.

The tourism market report by the ministry shows Greeks choose areas that are closer and cheaper, Belgians are interested in history and prefer regions with archaeological museums and historic buildings, while Arab tourists’ priority is shopping and destinations with strong infrastructure. British, on the other hand, care about temperature, the Hürriyet report said Wednesday.


The main reason why German tourists prefer Turkey for their holiday is hospitality, hotel and service quality, as well as price and relatively shorter flight distance. In terms of expectations and trends, safety, hygiene, price, hotel and service quality remain important, while active holiday and alternative tourism opportunities and transportation are becoming increasingly important. They mainly prefer holiday resorts in cities such as Antalya and Muğla, as well as Istanbul.

Other than that, they are also particularly interested in one of Turkey’s top tourist destinations, Cappadocia.


Following the 2008 crisis, Greeks have come to opt for destinations that are closer and cheaper, located outside the eurozone, rather than giving up on holidays spent overseas. They prefer culture, cities, beliefs, yachts, shopping and gastronomic tourism in their overseas travels.

While Bulgaria is their first choice as it is perceived as a more affordable country for shopping and holiday than other European countries, Turkey is the second most-preferred country due to geographical proximity and the cultural and historical ties between the two countries. Travel to Turkey is focused on culture and city tourism, while gastronomy and shopping are the main motivations. Their interest in Turkish cuisine is also quite high.


Belgian citizens want to have realistic information about the weather in the destinations that they plan to go to, to have easy and quick access by air, and to have access to all the information they need about their planned holiday on the internet.

The combination of sea, sand, sun, entertainment and sports is the main reason for Belgians' preferences, while they also like museums where archeological artifacts are displayed and cities with historical buildings. The destinations that Belgians prefer when they come to Turkey are Antalya, Istanbul, Muğla, Cappadocia, İzmir, Aydın and Denizli.


The main reason for U.K. citizens' willingness to go on a holiday abroad is the negativity and unpredictability of the weather in the country. They, therefore, prefer regions with warmer climates. The desire to spend time with family is also one of the most important holiday motivations. They like to have a holiday abroad because of last-minute discount opportunities. The main reasons why they prefer Turkey are due to its low cost, quality infrastructure and facilities, the climate with a high number of sunny days, the hospitality of the Turkish people and suitability for family holidays.


Because there are few people in Spain who speak English, they hardly prefer countries where they will have difficulty communicating. Some 65% of Spanish citizens are said to travel to get to know different cultures, while 16% are said to prefer sea-sun-sand tourism. Their reason for choosing Turkey is cultural heritage, gastronomy, shopping and social life experience.


The two main aims of the Italians in their travels abroad are to get to know different cultures and to have a holiday by the sea. Among other factors in determining holiday destinations in cultural travels are historical ties, affordability and service quality.

Also, affordability, service quality and favorable climate conditions are major factors in sea holidays. They are not inclined to all-inclusive holidays by their nature. They want to see and experience the culture of the country they go to, even during the sea holidays. Istanbul, Cappadocia, İzmir, Kuşadası, Bodrum, Fethiye, Antalya and Denizli come to the fore among Italians’ preference for Turkey.


Tourists from the Gulf and the United Arab Emirates place great importance on security, cultural familiarity, good tourism infrastructure, shopping opportunities, favorable climate conditions and visa convenience while determining their holiday destination. Arab tourists travel to cities with shopping and gastronomic facilities, as well as to those with strong treatment-related infrastructure.


Polish tourists take interest in early booking opportunities. They pay attention to the combination of “sea, sand, sun” and package tour opportunities for their overseas holidays. They love Turkey because of its modern hotels with water parks and its high all-inclusive standards.


The biggest motivation for Russians’ overseas holidays is “sea, sand and sun.” Among the reasons for tourists to prefer Turkey is the presence of sea, sand and sun, tour package prices and the quality of service received in return for these prices, visa convenience, facilities suitable for families with children, Russian-speaking personnel, cuisine and cultural values.

The number of international visitors to Turkey surged 14.5% year-to-year to 40.7 million this January-October, Culture and Tourism Ministry data showed.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya saw the highest figure, with 14.1 million in the first 10 months. Istanbul, Turkey's largest city by population and a top tourist draw, was the number two destination, drawing 12.7 million foreign visitors.

Russian was the top nationality of visitors from abroad, with 6.7 million, accounting for 16.44% of all foreign visitors entering Turkey. It was followed by Germany (4.7 million), the U.K. (2.4 million), Bulgaria (2.3 million), and Iran (1.8 million).

Last year, the country welcomed 39.5 million foreign visitors, up 22% from 2017.

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