The Russian tourist flow to Turkey is being restored

ATOR 29 July 2022 16:34

According to the results of the first half of 2022, the Russian tourist flow to Turkey is still 43.65% less than in the same period of 2019, according to fresh Turkish statistics. But the gap is narrowing, the June figures are much better than the May ones. They predicted how many tourists could come to Turkey by the end of 2022, if the current trend continues.

According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey, in the first 6 months of 2022, the foreign tourist flow to the country reached the figure of 16 365,080 tourist arrivals. This is only 9.5% less than in the same period in 2019.

In the first half of 2022, the places in the top three in terms of foreign tourist flow to Turkey have changed compared to the pre-pandemic times.

Thus, Germany took the first place in terms of tourist arrivals to Turkey in January – June 2022 with 2,030,548 trips, which is 12.6% more than in the same period of 2019.

According to the results of the first half of 2022, Russia is in second place with 1,455,912 tourist arrivals, which is 43.6% less than in the first half of 2019 (then Russia was leading by a large margin).

The UK is in third place with 1,264,275 trips. This is 26% more than in the first half of 2019.

Bulgaria is in fourth and fifth place (-3.9% compared to the same period in 2019) and Iran (+19%). But the tourist flow from these countries geographically practically does not overlap with the areas where Russian, German and English tourists go – the main "competition" in the resorts of Antalya and the Aegean coast is conducted by the latter.


Does Turkey manage to replace the decline in the Russian tourist flow with an increase in the number of trips from Germany and the UK? Now only these markets matter, since the tourist flow from all other countries except the top five (Germany, Russia, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Iran) has not increased, but decreased by 10.22% compared to the first half of 2019.

The answer to this question cannot be unambiguous. Compared to January– June 2019, Turkey lost 1,253,485 Russian arrivals in January – June 2022, but received an additional 489,204 trips from Germany and the UK.

On the one hand, Turkey managed to replace 39% of Russian losses, i.e. less than half, at the expense of these two Western markets. On the other hand, to be able to cover only in the first six months (the summer season is far from over) already 40% of the deficit formed due to a decrease in the number of Russian tourists is an impressive result for Turkey, and most likely by the end of October this gap will be significantly smaller.   


Finally, the Russian tourist flow is also growing. Thus, the number of Russian arrivals to Turkey in June 2022 amounted to 602,015. Yes, this is still 41.9% less than in June 2019, but in May 2022 the gap with May 2019 was much larger – minus 62%, and in June it is decreasing with an increase in the number of flights. Just for comparison: in June 2022, 66% more Russians arrived in Turkey than arrived in May. 

Forecasts for July and August regarding the Russian tourist flow are more optimistic: with 750 flights a week, voiced by Zarina Doguzova, from July to the end of October, about 2.8 million more tourists from Russia may arrive in Turkey.

Together with the indicators of the first half of the year, with a successful combination of circumstances, the total volume of tourist flow for 10 months may amount to about 4.3 million tourists, and by the end of the whole of 2022, the figure of 2021 of 4.7 million tourists from the Russian Federation may theoretically even be exceeded.

However, the gap from the pre-pandemic record of 2019 for the whole of 2022 will still be about a third (recall that 7 million tourists from Russia came to Turkey in 2019).

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