Turkey once again stands out as the favorite holiday destination of high-income tourists. The number of high-income tourists is expected to surge by 40 percent in 2019, rising five-fold in the next five years.
Gearing up for a historical high this year with 40 million tourists and focusing on income rather than sheer quantity, the Turkish tourism sector has begun to reap the benefits of steps taken to generate more tourism revenues. Accelerating its work on "high-quality tourists" as pointed out by Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Ersoy, the sector is on its way to break a new record in 2019 in this regard.
Classifying people who spend over $5,000 for a holiday as "high-quality tourists," sector players said that 1.2 million tourists that can be designated as high-income earners arrived in Turkey in 2018. They expect this figure to increase by 40 percent next year, stressing that the number of high-income tourists will rise five-fold within five years.
Turkish Travel Agencies Association (TÜRSAB) Chairman Firuz Bağlıkaya said the agency concentrates on attracting tourists with high spending potential from around the globe, especially main markets, noting that they have received positive signals from many markets for 2019 in terms of high-quality tourists. "The tourism and promotion fund that will be founded by the Ministry of Tourism in early 2019 will have a major impact on attracting high-income tourists to our country," Bağlıkaya said.
Aida Tourism Chairman Adviye Bergemann highlighted that the most important issue for high-income tourists is security and suggested that this threshold has already been overcome. "These tourists used to prefer last-minute reservations for the past three years; however, they moved on to early-bookings for 2019," Bergemann said, adding Turkey has been attracting the largest number of high-income tourists from the Middle East and Russia for about four years. "There is also an increase in demand from Britain and Europe next year," Bergemann continued. "We have recently hosted a significant number of tourists from the Middle East. Middle Eastern tourists, in particular, contribute a serious amount of income with daily spending of over $10,000."