According to figures from the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK), in 2011 a total of 30,394,697 people visited Turkey. Out of this figure, 26,611,093 were foreigners and 3,783,604 were Turks who live abroad.
Out of the foreign tourists who visited Turkey, 50.8 percent were males while 49.2 percent were females.
Upon closer inspection of the education level of foreign visitors, one out of three was a university graduate. Thirty-four percent of tourists had a university degree, while 33 percent had completed high school, 13.1% had a graduate degree and 11.9 percent had completed middle school with just 4.7 percent consisting of elementary school graduates. Three percent of visitors were either illiterate or had never been to school.
Out of the foreign tourists Turkey hosted this year, 67.3 percent were from the middle income group. The number of tourists from the higher income group was less at 15.5 percent, while the percentage of foreign tourists from the lower income group was even lower at 13.5 percent.
ONE OUT OF EVERY TEN TOURISTS WERE RETIRED
Other figures showed that 48.8 percent of foreign tourists that visited Turkey were employed, while 17.4 percent were self-employed and 5.3 percent unemployed. The percentage of tourists that were retired was at 11.9, 8.4 percent were students and 7.3 percent were housewives.
Fifty-seven percent of tourists expressed their main reasons for visiting as being sightseeing, for fun and for athletic or cultural purposes, 10.6 percent of tourists came to visit relatives or friends, while 6.3 percent came for business reasons and 3.4 percent came to shop. The remaining percentage was made up of visitors that came for transit, religious, health or educational purposes.
OVERNIGHT STAYS ON THE RISE
Last year, the number of overnight stays by foreign tourists increased by 12.7 percent compared to the year prior, reaching 264,524,675 visitors.
The effects of the legal adjustments made in recent years geared towards allowing foreigners to purchase real estate in Turkey was evident in this year's TÜİK figures.
In overnight stay figures, 11.1 percent of foreigners stayed in their own homes, while 22.7 percent stayed with friends or relatives. In other words, one out of every three tourists spent their time in Turkey in their own or friends' and families' domestic residences. The remaining 50.7 percent stayed in hotels, motels or bed and breakfast type accommodations, while 4.6 percent chose to rent during their stay.
As for Turkish visitors, 61.8 percent stayed in their own homes, 4.6 percent stayed in hotels, motels or bed and breakfasts, 31.8 percent stayed with friends and family, while 1.4 percent stayed in rental homes.