Turkey's tourism revenue reached $26.3 billion in 2017, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) confirmed yesterday.
According to TurkStat, annual revenue rose by 18.9 percent in 2017, up from $22.1 billion the previous year.
"While 77.4 percent of this income [excluding GSM roaming and marina service expenditures] came from foreign visitors, around 22.6 percent was obtained from Turkish citizens residing abroad," TurkStat said.
Turkey welcomed 38.6 million visitors in 2017, marking a 23.1 percent rise from the previous year, 83.1 percent foreign and 16.9 percent representing citizens living abroad.
The TurkStat data revealed that average expenditure per capita was $681 in 2017. Foreigners' average expenditure per capita amounted to $630 while for Turkish citizens residing abroad it reached $903 per capita. Foreign visitors spent mostly on food, beverage, accommodation, and transport. They spent over $3 billion on shoes and clothes and $1.2 billion on souvenirs in addition to $100 million on carpets and rugs.
The primary reason for more than 56 percent foreign visitors' trips to Turkey was "travel, entertainment, sports and cultural activities" while 14.7 percent traveled to the country to "visit relatives and friends."
According to TurkStat, their top choice for accommodation was hotels and motels.
In comparison, the number of Turkish citizens visiting abroad increased by 12.8 percent last year, reaching 8.9 million with an average spending of $578 per capita.
The institute also said Turkey's annual tourism expenditure in 2017, which is the expenditure of the Turkish citizens residing in Turkey and visiting abroad, rose by 1.7 percent compared to 2016 and reached $5.1 billion. While nearly $4.1 billion of total expenditures were individual expenditures, $1 billion was in package tour expenditures, TurkStat noted.