While Turkey is expecting new all-time highs in tourism revenues and the number of tourists in 2018, around 10 million Turkish citizens are estimated to be going abroad this year, according to a report in the Milliyet newspaper.
Recovering from losses incurred in 2016 due to a series of events, including a failed coup attempt and terror attacks, Turkey experienced a buoyant 2017 that was declared a year of recovery as tourism revenues reached $26 billion, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat). Annual revenue also rose by 18.9 percent in 2017, up from $22.1 billion in the previous year.The country welcomed 38.6 million tourists in 2017, marking a 23.1 percent rise - 83.1 percent of those were foreign visitors and 16.9 percent were citizens living abroad.
Tourism experts expect a buoyant season and estimate that 2018 will be a record year in terms of revenues and number of tourists. Turkey has reportedly experienced a 70 percent increase in reservations by foreign tourists for some locations.
On the other hand, the tourism sector is also trying to catch up with the increasing demand of Turkish tourists who live abroad.
Gürkan Erol, Prontotour's marketing general manager, said that the 116 days of holiday expected for 2018 is very attractive and Turkish nationals are evaluating their options abroad. Erol said local holidaymakers prefer to go abroad during the holidays and added that there has been a great occupancy rate in early reservations.
Indicating that around 8.9 million Turkish citizens went abroad last year, he said that they expect the number of local tourists leaving the country to exceed 10 million. He emphasized that 2018 will be a year when travelers will have more holidays.
He added that they expect a significant increase in the number of tourists coming from the European countries and Russia.
"Local holidaymakers prefer the Aegean, Mediterranean and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus," he said. "We see that there is a great interest, especially in the Far East. Greece continues to be a preferred destination0. Besides classical routes in Europe, there has been an increase in the demand for visa-free geographies and countries such as Morocco and Beirut."