Posted on December 10, 2014

Turkey has strengthened its status as a top holiday destination for the GCC nationals. Between January and October of this year, visitor numbers from the region reached 211,241 marking a 39% increase from the same period in 2013. That’s according to new figures from the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office. The summer period was no doubt a successful one for Turkey as it coincided with Ramadan and the Eid Al Fitr holiday. It also proved to be a popular choice for GCC tourists during the Eid Al Adha holiday in October, as the country attracted 22,322 visitors from the region during the month.

GCC tourists to Turkey up by [].jpg“It’s no surprise why Turkey continues to see double digit growth in GCC visitor numbers year after year,” says Mustafa Ozdemir, Cultural & Information Attache Turkish Consulate General Cultural & Information Office. “The region currently contributes 5% of Turkey’s tourism revenue, with Kuwait as the highest contributor, followed by the UAE. With expanded airline routes, it’s never been more convenient for tourists to discover and re-discover the various attractions on offer. From Istanbul to Antalya to Bodrum, the country offers something different for everyone – nature, a rich history and culture, all at an attractive cost compared to other popular European destinations.”

During the first ten months of this year, Turkey welcomed 120,632 Kuwaiti nationals – the highest showing in the region. It marks a 52 per cent increase from the 79,059 which visited during the same period last year. The UAE came second with 43,469 passport holders visiting the country, followed by 27,002 Qatari tourists. On top of this tourism push, the country has also seen a wave of new interest from the investors looking for new opportunities. Between January and April of this year, GCC investors bought $1.26 billion in real estate according to its figures from its Ministry of Finance.

“As the country continues to strengthen its tourism and trade ties with GCC nations, it’s only natural that visitors begin to consider it as a second-home market,” added Ozdemir. “We hope to build onto this momentum by investing in new projects and initiatives that will enhance our business and leisure offerings and facilities."