News that Turkey is granting visa exemptions for 11 countries, including the UK, is exactly the kind of action needed to rebuild tourism in the country.
Turkey experienced a decline of nearly ten million inbound tourists in 2016, due mainly to an increase in extremist violence and a failed military coup.
This combined with the increasing presence of Islamic State (IS) and civil unrest in neighbouring Syria and Iraq created apprehension among holidaymakers. A decrease in demand particularly stemmed from traditional western markets.
Running a number of initiatives targeting European countries illustrates that Turkey is actively trying to rebuild the trust of tourists.
Turkey presents itself as the ideal location for post-Brexit British tourism
The cost of living in Turkey is estimated to be 42% cheaper than Spain and British tourists will be saving $35 per person in visa fees. According to a recent GlobalData consumer survey, 56% of UK respondents stated that affordability was the most important factor when choosing a holiday.
Furthermore, UK tourists entering Turkey will now be saved the hassle of having to fill in online travel permits. In GlobalData’s survey, 44% of UK respondents stated that accessibility was the second most influencing factor behind affordability.
These two factors will unquestionably make Turkey a viable alternative for British tourists looking at taking their sun and beach holidays away from the shores of Spain.
The prospect of British tourists having to pay additional fees to enter EU countries and wait longer in airport queues from 2021 undoubtedly adds to the appeal of Turkey.
Approximately 15.8 million British tourists travelled to Spain in 2019. It looks likely that many of these holidaymakers may be making their way to Turkey in the years to come.
Visa exemptions are just one part of Turkey’s global tourism push
Turkey’s tourism strategy for 2023 aims to welcome more than 75 million tourists and reach a tourism revenue of $65bn.
Turkey’s ambitions may seem lofty. However, there is no denying that the country can become a global hub for tourism, where both east and west are attracted by a rich culture and idyllic natural landscape.
The tourism industry looks set to experience some turbulent times ahead. However, Turkey is looking to be a shining example of how the tourism industry can rebuild in the face of adversity.