Posted on April 10, 2019

The number of  Qatari nationals visiting Turkey recorded 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.

Turkey is one of the largest outbound tourism markets for people living in the Gulf countries. In February 2019, around 1,670 million international tourists visited Turkey, which is 9.38 percent more compared to the same period in 2018. In 2018, the number of Qatari national visitors to Turkey nearly doubled to 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 percent reaching US$29.5 billion in 2018, in comparison with US$26.2 billion the revenues collected in 2017.

Official data revealed that 81.8 percent of the income came from foreign visitors and 18.2 percent from Turkish citizens living abroad. Salih Ozer, Attaché of Culture and Information, 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 46 million visitors in 2018, including 39.49 million foreigners and 6.62 million Turkish citizens from abroad. Nearly six million foreigners coming to Turkey in 2018 were from Russia -- an increase of 26.49 percent compared with 2017 -- and 4.5 million visitors were from Germany, up by 25.88 percent from the previous year, according to the ministry's statement.