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Saturday, 25 July 2020 00:00

Numbers of foreigners arriving in Turkey - year to June 2020

Tourism in Kalkan and Turkey Tourism in Kalkan and Turkey

Article updated 28th July 2020.

If you want to see the impact of Coronavirus on Turkish tourism you need look no further than Ministry of Culture & Tourism statistics for the first six months of 2020.

All visitors
For the six months to 30th June 2020 the number of foreigners arriving in Turkey was just 4.5 million, compared to 18 million in 2019 and 16 million in 2018.

That represents a decrease of 75% on the same period last year.

UK visitors
In the month of June 2020 UK visitors were the fourth largest group of nationals to visit with just under 11,000 arrivals.  Germany, Bulgaria and the Netherlands were the top three visiting nationalities.

In the first six months of the year there were just under 130,000 British arrivals compared to around one million in 2019 and 858,000 in 2018.

This represents a decrease of 87% on the same period last year.

Tourism income
Income figures are only available for Q1 2020 and they show a year on year decline of 11.4% down to US$4.1 billion.  Inevitably revenue figures for Q2 will be bad.

In 2019 annual income from tourism in Turkey was a massive US$34.5 billion, up 17% from US$29.5 billion in 2018.  Much of that of course being handbag sales in Kalkan!

The Turkish government had originally set a target of US$40 billion for 2020 but clearly the pandemic means that this will not be achieved.

Update 28th July 2020: The Turkish Statistical Institute has announced that it will not publish tourism income figures for Q2 2020 as it has been unable to conduct the relevant surveys due to Coronavirus.

Kalkan Harbour

The Kalkan view
What is happening now in Kalkan and what can we expect for the rest of the season?

Nobody knows for sure how things will turn out.  We are in uncharted territory.  But the national tourism figures to the end of June are certainly reflected in what is happening in Kalkan.  Numbers are down dramatically.

Although Kalkan has no officially reported cases of Coronavirus and there are no government travel restrictions some people are cautious about travelling anywhere on a plane right now.

For those who are willing and able to come there is the problem of flight cancellations to contend with.  Some travellers are being asked to re-book flights (normally at a higher price) and this is causing a knock on effect with accommodation bookings.

Kalkan does have a loyal following and KTLN research suggests that many people are determined to make it out here this year.  But it is a very fluid situation and local business people are preparing in earnest as they wait to see how many people make the journey.

By the way, if you are travelling from the UK to Kalkan this year remember that you no longer need to apply online for a visa.  You get your 90 days automatically.

Below: A KTLN archive photo from 2012.  Happier days.

Kalkan Beach

Domestic tourism
In the meantime Kalkan has attracted significantly more domestic tourists who are coming from the big cities in their cars.

Our sources tell us that we currently have around 8,000 visitors in Kalkan and surrounding villages - most of them Turkish.  

But in fact you are more likely to encounter these holidaymakers in the supermarket and greengrocers than you are in Kalkan’s restaurants.

So Kalkan may have the appearance of being quite busy but this does not necessarily translate in to the ringing of tills in the old town.

Local businesses will of course welcome all visitors but there is no doubt that they are desperate to see a return of their more traditional guests from abroad.

KTLN will provide you with further updates throughout the season. 


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