The number of Qatari nationals visiting Turkey stood at 11,748 in the first two months of 2019, according to the latest data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Tourism Office in Dubai. However, this is a fraction of the total number of visitors from Qatar, when expatriate residents are included, the report said.
Turkey is one of the largest outbound tourism markets for people living in the Gulf countries.
In 2018, the number of Qatari national visitors to Turkey nearly doubled to reach 96,327 in 2018, up from 48,764 in 2017.
Tourist flow from GCC to Turkey continues to rise due to a number of factors that include increased number of attractions and relaxation in the visa formalities. Tourism revenues increased 12.3% reaching $29.5bn in 2018, in comparison with $26.2bn revenues collected in 2017.
Official data revealed that 81.8% of the income came from foreign visitors and 18.2% from Turkish citizens living abroad.
Salih Ozer, attaché of culture and information in Turkey, said, “Tourist flow from the GCC countries to Turkey continues to grow and I am happy to see the growth trend continues this year, despite headwinds in the global economy. Turkey remains an oasis of peace and tranquility and offers a large number of tourism attractions. It offers a greater value for money when compared to other popular tourism destinations across the world.
“Turkey and the Gulf countries share centuries-old social, cultural and economic ties. The repeated visits of the friendly visitors from the GCC countries help fuel the growth of our economy.”
Turkey welcomed just over 46mn visitors in 2018, including 39.49mn foreigners and 6.62mn Turkish citizens from abroad.
Nearly 6mn foreigners coming to Turkey in 2018 were from Russia, an increase of 26.49% compared with 2017, and 4.5mn visitors were from Germany, up by 25.88% from the previous year, according to the ministry’s statement.
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