Ankara, Nov 9 (UiTV/IANS) – As tourist inflows beat consensus, Turkey has revised its annual tourism targets upward, counting on the industry to deliver $44 billion in revenues to keep the economy growing.
The uptick came in light of better-than-expected outcomes in tourist arrivals, Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Ersoy said, adding tourism activity was strong in October, reports Xinhua news agency.
He estimated that by the end of 2022, the annual tourist numbers will be close to the booming pre-pandemic level of 2019 when Turkey had welcomed 51.7 million foreign visitors.
Official statistics showed that foreign tourist arrivals in the January-September period rose by 98 per cent year-on-year to 40.25 million.
The tourism revenues in the third quarter leaped by 27 per cent, according to figures released by the Turkish Statistical Institute.
This is the second revision the Ministry made amid the strong rebound in tourism activity.
In July, Ersoy had announced that the annual targets were to be raised from 42 million to 47 million in tourist numbers, while revenues from $34 billion to $37 billion.
A swath of European Union member states heading into winter has felt the bite of an energy crunch after Russia cut gas supplies in response to Western sanctions imposed over its ongoing war in Ukraine.
Hard currency brought in by the tourism industry is key for the Turkish economy to navigate through 85 per cent annual inflation and high foreign debt repayments.