The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office has released the results of a recent survey, which they commissioned from Mintel to research ‘Tourism in Turkey – Attitudes, Experiences and Awareness’.A similar survey had last been commissioned in 2005, and the difference between the two revealed something of the meteoric rise of Turkish tourism during that time period.
In 2005 Turkey had seen just over 1.7million tourist arrivals from the UK. By 2010, this had grown to almost 2.7million tourists – an increase of almost 60%. By 2011, the equivalent of almost one in three respondents have visited Turkey at some point (compared to one in five in 2005). A further one in three says that although they have not yet visited Turkey, it is on their ‘list of places’ they’d like to go.
Turkey has become much more popular as a destination during this period, with the number of people wanting to visit Turkey increasing substantially since 2005. At the same time, the numbers of people not interested in visiting Turkey have fallen and anecdotal evidence has always pointed to Turkey experiencing high levels of repeat business.
The survey sound that returning to Turkey is almost as common as going once, with 52% of those who had visited Turkey had done so once, whilst 48% had visited two or more times. Some 19% had visited Turkey three or more times.
The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office was also interested in finding out more about the reasons British visitors gave for choosing Turkey for their holiday. Good weather came out as the top reason for visiting, followed by culture and history. Although Turkey’s recent success has often been attributed to the perception of it as a ‘value for money’ destination, this came in fourth. Those who hadn’t yet visited Turkey were attracted almost as much by ‘culture and history’ as by the weather. Those who had visited recently, however, placed more importance on value for money and on the destination's friendly and hospitable people than other respondents.
Another interesting factor to emerge from the survey came out when they asked those who had visited Turkey whether they had visited a museum or historic site during their stay – a huge 71% had done so, highlighting the attraction of Turkey’s culture and history for the British market.