copy the linklink copied!Turkey

copy the linklink copied!Tourism in the economy

Tourism is one of Turkey’s most dynamic and fastest growing economic sectors. In 2018, it directly accounted for 7.7% of total employment, directly employing 2.2 million people. Total tourism income represented 3.8% of GDP. Travel exports accounted for 51.9% of total service exports in 2018.

Turkey attracted 45.8 million international tourists in 2018, an increase of 21.7% compared with 2017 which generated TRY 142.4 billion in tourism revenues, a 12% increase compared to the previous year. According to 2018 border statistics, top inbound markets included Russia, accounting for 13.0% of total international arrivals and Germany with 9.8%. Other top markets include Bulgaria (5.2%), United Kingdom (4.9%) and Georgia (4.5%).

Domestic tourism is growing in Turkey with a total of 126.4 million trips recorded in 2018. This is an increase of 4.6% when compared to 2017. Of these trips, 78.5 million were overnight visitors (62.1%) and 47.9 million were same-day visitors (37.9%).

copy the linklink copied!Tourism governance and funding

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism is responsible for tourism in Turkey. Its duties are to investigate, develop, protect, maintain, evaluate, disseminate and promote tourism in order to contribute to the strengthening of national unity and economic growth.

Overseas marketing and promotion is directed and co-ordinated by the Promotion Directorate within the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and delivered by a network of 46 overseas offices in 41 different countries. At regional level Turkey has 81 Provincial Culture and Tourism offices that conserve the historical, cultural and natural heritage, diversify tourism, and promote the region through cultural events, festivals and fairs in the regions.

Several professional institutions and private sector associations work closely with the Ministry, both to plan tourism and to address specific issues. These bodies include the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies, Touristic Hotels and lnvestors Association, Hoteliers Federation, Turkish Tourism lnvestors Association and the Union of Tourist Guides' Chambers. The investment Office of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey also promotes Turkey's investment opportunities to the global business community and provides assistance to investors.

In August 2019, the Turkey Tourism, Promotion and Development Agency was established to promote the development of tourism capacity. The Agency has an executive board, with member representatives from both public and private sectors.

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Turkey: Organisational chart of tourism bodies
Turkey: Organisational chart of tourism bodies

Source: OECD, adapted from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, 2020.

copy the linklink copied!Tourism policies and programmes

The principal national policy documents relating to tourism are the Five-Year National Development Plans and the three-year rolling medium-term programmes known as the New Economy Programme. The current 11th development plan from 2019-2023, is considered to be the roadmap to increase the economic welfare of Turkey over the long-term. Tourism is defined in the Plan as one the primary sectors to be encouraged. As outlined in the New Economy Programme for the 2019-2021 period, Turkey has begun preparing a Tourism Master Plan to deliver the policy priorities. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism, taking account of the tourism perspectives in the above mentioned documents, prepares a Strategic Plan to 2023, which demonstrates the sectoral priorities and activities covering a four year period.

Diversification and innovation of tourism activities in accordance with changing consumer trends and technology, extending the tourism season, increasing the service quality, attracting high spending visitors and increasing length of stay are the essential aims of the Development Plan. Annual Programmes that define the short term priorities and the road map are also published and co-ordinated by the Strategy Budget Office of the Turkish Presidency.

The main issues and challenges facing tourism in Turkey include:

  • Addressing seasonality - As a predominantly sun and sea destination, tourism flows and occupancy levels are highly concentrated in the summer season, limiting profitability and the contribution that tourism makes to the economy,

  • Enabling the use of tourism as a tool for regional development - while there is great scope for increasing tourism it is currently concentrated in key coastal and city destinations,

  • Improving environmental performance - of the tourism industry and by developing new products, ensuring that it is planned and developed sustainably and uses resources wisely,

  • Improving the quality of service skills in tourism - with particular regard to education and training of the workforce, and,

  • Responding to global unrest and economic crises in nearby countries.

The Government’s aim is to ensure a competitive, sustainable and inclusive tourism industry. Current policy objectives include diversifying away from the mass tourism ‘sun and sea’ product by developing high quality niche tourism experiences that match consumer expectations. These niches include cultural tourism, sports tourism, MICE/business tourism and the health/wellness sector. Extending the season to benefit from a year-round product and spreading the benefits of tourism regionally are other important objectives. The Government is also committed to ensuring that tourism products and services are fully accessible for all visitors.

Developing Turkey’s image and brand on the world stage, and as a result increasing Turkey’s market share, is considered fundamental. Market research reflects the changing needs and demands of today’s visitors and current marketing activity is focussed on both volume and emerging markets with a priority to increase the share of high income tourists and gain additional spend per tourist by increasing the length of stay. India, Republic of China, South Korea and Japan are being prioritised in order to increase tourist traffic and revenue.

Promotions cover a wide range of activity and channels including social and digital platforms, international tourism fairs, hosting influencers, special events, familiarisation trips for trade and media and extensive PR activity. This emphasises the breadth and range of product away from ‘sun and sea’ to include winter experiences, youth, golf, sailing, health and city tourism. Recently implemented marketing activity drew on the Country’s unique values by emphasising the rich cultural and artistic heritage that has existed in Turkey for millennia. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has focussed on both supply and demand – by prioritising the conservation of heritage assets and by increasing market share through enhancing the image and perception of the country and working to strengthen its brand values worldwide. This dual focus has been underpinned over the last two years by adopting a theme for each year with 2018 being declared as Year of Troy and 2019 as Year of Göbeklitepe. By promoting such cultural, artistic and touristic values and creating awareness about these values, the series of Years aims to enhance the image and perception of the country and strengthen its international brand.

Another future orientated programme has been the development of new social media and digital strategies to grow new markets. The Ministry of Culture and Tourism has introduced the Go Turkey platform, with 6.5 million followers, which draws on the country’s natural, historical and cultural values. The platform contains destination and product information that focuses on different experiences in lesser-known destinations, and on other seasons and activities including winter season, health, convention, yacht, youth, city and cultural tourism. Extensive social media activity covers posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn, Snapchat and TripAdvisor.

copy the linklink copied!Statistical Profile

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Turkey: Domestic, inbound and outbound tourism

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

TOURISM FLOWS, THOUSAND

Domestic tourism

Total domestic trips

115 088

115 381

106 501

120 872

126 446

Overnight visitors (tourists)

70 894

71 251

68 450

77 179

78 523

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

44 194

44 130

38 051

43 693

47 923

Nights in all types of accommodation

575 871

588 786

605 608

665 194

633 721

Hotels and similar establishments

41 322

39 621

48 623

49 786

55 815

Other collective establishments

23 209

17 294

17 700

19 030

19 116

Private accommodation

511 340

531 871

539 285

596 378

558 790

Inbound tourism1

Total international arrivals

41 627

41 114

30 907

37 970

46 113

Overnight visitors (tourists)

39 811

39 478

30 289

37 601

45 768

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

1 816

1 636

618

369

345

Top markets

Russian Federation

4 460

3 633

857

4 702

5 954

Germany

5 026

5 356

3 827

3 518

4 464

Bulgaria

1 688

1 817

1 688

1 850

2 383

United Kingdom

2 352

2 266

1 588

1 604

2 220

Georgia

1 751

1 907

2 204

2 434

2 066

Nights in all types of accommodation

118 939

109 256

77 460

80 063

112 245

Hotels and similar establishments

118 546

109 014

77 177

79 960

112 118

Other collective establishments

393

242

283

103

127

Private accommodation

..

..

..

..

..

Outbound tourism

Total international departures

7 982

8 751

7 892

8 887

8 383

Overnight visitors (tourists)

..

..

..

..

..

Same-day visitors (excursionists)

..

..

..

..

..

Top destinations

Europe not specified

649

767

922

1 105

1 229

Iraq

1 214

1 401

57

581

1 014

Bulgaria

731

782

939

949

987

Greece

912

1 018

883

1 058

884

Georgia

1 256

1 164

1 187

1 016

778

TOURISM RECEIPTS AND EXPENDITURE, MILLION USD

Inbound tourism

Total international receipts

38 855

35 597

26 788

31 868

37 140

International travel receipts

29 552

26 616

18 743

22 478

25 220

International passenger transport receipts

9 303

8 981

8 045

9 391

11 920

Outbound tourism

Total international expenditure

5 475

5 683

5 025

5 181

4 999

International travel expenditure

5 072

5 368

4 783

4 823

4 595

International passenger transport expenditure

403

315

242

358

404

.. Not available

1. Arrivals from demand side surveys; Nights from supply side surveys.

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934078053

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Turkey: Enterprises and employment in tourism

Number of establishments1

Number of persons employed

2017

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

Total

..

..

..

..

..

..

Tourism industries

492 960

1 801 084

1 926 751

1 969 776

2 062 808

2 222 378

Accommodation services for visitors

21 116

260 777

300 182

267 589

294 958

343 928

Hotels and similar establishments

16 350

219 881

250 289

214 928

247 100

286 101

Food and beverage serving industry

267 094

1 071 945

1 128 515

1 164 473

1 189 288

1 253 134

Passenger transport

164 475

311 570

324 820

362 572

391 243

411 351

Air passenger transport

157

..

..

..

..

..

Railways passenger transport

.. c

..

..

..

..

..

Road passenger transport

161 359

..

..

..

..

..

Water passenger transport

2 959

..

..

..

..

..

Passenger transport supporting services

..

..

..

..

..

..

Transport equipment rental

8 809

15 506

13 311

15 727

24 250

27 593

Travel agencies and other reservation services industry

9 240

46 647

49 734

51 324

44 157

50 103

Cultural industry

5 476

32 400

38 565

50 000

56 491

55 111

Sports and recreation industry

16 750

62 240

71 624

58 092

62 422

81 158

Retail trade of country-specific tourism characteristic goods

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other country-specific tourism industries

..

..

..

..

..

..

Other industries

..

..

..

..

..

..

.. Not available; c Confidential data

1. Data refer to number of enterprises.

Source: OECD Tourism Statistics (Database).

 StatLink http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/888934078072

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