As the 4th most popular tourist destination in the world and attracting more than 29.9 million tourists in 2021, Türkiye continues to present vast investment opportunities in both the established and newly-developing subsectors of the tourism industry.
With its favorable location, existing potential, and mega projects, the tourism sector continues to grow at a rate that outstrips its bed capacity. Even though there has been a surge of investments in the last several years, there is still ample room for new ventures. Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia both have untapped potential for cultural tourism as well as the increasingly popular boutique hotel concept, which blends well with the characteristic nature, history, and culture of the regions.
- In 2021, Türkiye was the 4th most popular tourist destination in the world according to UNWTO.
- Türkiye showed a strong recovery in 2021. According to the UNWTO World Tourism Barometer, the number of international tourist arrivals in Türkiye in 2021 was 29.9 million, up 88 percent year-on-year, with international tourism receipts totaling USD 20.8 billion, up 104 percent year-on-year.
- In 2021, average spending per visitor grew 9.4 percent to USD 834 when compared to 2020.
- Türkiye boasted 14,323 tourist accommodation establishments with over 833,000 rooms as of 2021 year-end – a 6.29 percent annual increase in the number of establishments.
- With regard to religious tourism, Türkiye is one of the few countries in the world that is home to sites from a number of major religions, including Islam, Christianity and Judaism.
- The average daily rates (ADR) in Türkiye fully recovered to pre-pandemic levels in 2021, particularly coastal regions of Antalya, Muğla, and Bodrum. ADR was realized at EUR 122.5 in Antalya, well above the European average of EUR 104.
- According to Smith Travel Research (STR) data, occupancy rate in Istanbul was 54.5 percent in 2021, ranking 2nd in Europe.
- Türkiye has 8,300 km of coastline and ranks 3rd globally with its 529 blue-flag beaches.
- In terms of geothermal tourism potential, Türkiye is among the top seven countries in the world and ranks 1st in Europe with its 1,500 thermal springs. Bed capacity in the various thermal spa resorts has reached a combined 100,000.
- The Belek region stands out as the most significant golf destination in Türkiye, ranking among the world’s most popular tourism centers with 27 golf courses, more than 70,000-bed capacity, and around 2 million tourist arrivals.
- Türkiye ranked the 7th place among the top 10 European countries for tourism FDI between 2016 and 2020 with 36 FDI projects, according to fDi Intelligence’s Tourism Investment Report 2021.
- The Turkish government offers incentives such as reduced utility prices and reduced tax rates, while also pursuing policies aimed at eliminating any bureaucratic barriers that may hinder growth in the tourism sector.
Investment Opportunities in Tourism in Turkey:
- Cultural Tourism in Eastern and Southeastern Anatolia: These regions offer untapped potential for cultural tourism. The unique nature, history, and culture of these areas make them ideal for attracting tourists interested in exploring off-the-beaten-path destinations.
- Boutique Hotels: The boutique hotel concept is gaining popularity in Turkey. Investing in boutique hotels that blend well with the characteristics of different regions can be a lucrative opportunity in the tourism sector.
- Religious Tourism: Turkey is home to significant religious sites from major religions such as Islam, Christianity, and Judaism. Investing in infrastructure and services catering to religious tourists can be a promising venture.
- Coastal Tourism: Turkey has 8,300 kilometers of coastline and ranks third globally for its 529 blue-flag beaches. Investing in coastal resorts, hotels, and beach-related activities can capitalize on the country's natural beauty and attract beach-loving tourists.
- Geothermal Tourism: Turkey is among the top seven countries in the world and ranks first in Europe in terms of geothermal tourism potential. With 1,500 thermal springs, investing in thermal spa resorts and wellness facilities can tap into this growing market.
- Golf Tourism in Belek: The Belek region is renowned as a premier golf destination in Turkey. With 27 golf courses, over 70,000-bed capacity, and millions of tourist arrivals, investing in golf resorts and related infrastructure can attract avid golfers from around the world.
- Government Incentives: The Turkish government offers incentives such as reduced utility prices and tax rates to encourage investment in the tourism sector. These incentives, coupled with policies aimed at eliminating bureaucratic barriers, create a favorable environment for tourism investment.
Turkey's thriving tourism industry, its diverse attractions, and ongoing government support make it an attractive destination for investors seeking opportunities in the sector. By capitalizing on the country's strengths and focusing on emerging trends, investors can contribute to the continued growth of the Turkish tourism market.