The degree and direction of the impact that national economic crises have made on the tourism industry in Turkey over the past decade have varied. If the developments in inbound tourism in Turkey are examined within the conditions of Turkey’s neighbouring economies, then the degree and direction of the impact becomes more apparent.
In the second half of 2007, a global crisis began in the USA after the bonds market collapsed, which was followed by the breakdown in both the American and European banking and financing system. The banking sector of Turkey was not affected, however, by August and September 2008, travel and tourism demand had been affected, which naturally affected Turkey’s tourism industry. Nonetheless, Turkey continued to aiming for positive figures by reinforcing its position in the international level. This led to a 13% increase in arrivals in Turkey by the end of the summer period.
Before 2008, the tourism sector of Turkey had been ranked at number 7 among the top countries leading in terms of tourists arriving from around the world. Surprisingly, even during the crisis Turkey continued performing exceptionally well, despite those considerably tiring economic conditions. Business circles in Turkey had been quick to respond to the economic crisis, which is the reason that the tourism industry in Turkey continued to remain significantly successful.
Ever since the economic crises of 2008, it was being anticipated that travel agencies and as well as tour operators in Turkey could be negatively affected to a significant extent in the coming future. The reason behind such a speculation was the fact that a majority of international tourists in Turkey had been coming from Asia, Europe and the USA. These were three countries that had been greatly affected by the crisis.
It cannot be denied that travel companies in Turkey did suffer adverse effect in the tourism sector due to the crisis, which forced them to take a look at other market locations. Even rate of exports from Turkey to Europe and other countries had decreased following the crisis, since exporting companies had started to approach Arabic, African and Middle Eastern countries. This made travel companies in Turkey feel as if they also needed to approach these new markets as well. In that sense, it is arguable that travel and tourism companies in Turkey were adversely affected by the economic crisis and they responded to it by targeting alternative non-American, -Asian and -European markets.
By 2010, even European travellers had begun to surface from the financial crisis and had started visiting foreign countries. This reportedly led to an 8% increase in tourist arrivals to Turkey and within the year, the tourism industry in Turkey managed to grow up to 6%. It is obvious that the tourism industry in Turkey has been going through some tough times, both due to global and national crises.
The effects of such crises may have been severe but the travel and tourism sector of the country continues to recover and looks forward to become resistant to such negative effects. Despite the past, Turkey is still a leading vacation destination, which means that these days it is worth getting Turkish visas more than ever and pay a visit to this historical country.