Istanbul tops the list in Europe as its tourism recovers

Recording a 2 percent increase in flight arrivals compared to
in the pre-pandemic period, Istanbul was the best performing city
in Europe this summer, according to travel data
analyst company ForwardKeys, reports Trend, quoted by the Daily

It is followed by Athens with a 7% drop, Reykjavik and Porto,
both down 8 percent and Malaga down 13 percent.

Turkey and Greece, the two largest air transport destinations,
both exceeded pre-pandemic levels for international visitors
arrivals by 9 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Air travel to Albania, a relatively small destination with less
of 1% market share of European flight arrivals was also
grew by 28 percent.

While no other major destination in the country has recovered to
numbers observed in the pre-pandemic period (2019), Slovenia, only 7
percent down, Iceland down 8 percent and Portugal down 10 percent
down approached.

The main factors driving Türkiye’s strong performance include
continued decline in the value of the Turkish lira and its
openness to the Russian market, from where direct flights to most
of Europe are banned, according to the company.

In the summer of 2019, Russians were 4 percent of all
arrivals in Europe, while in 2022 this has dropped dramatically.

Greece has performed strongly as a destination throughout
pandemic by deploying a relatively visitor-friendly COVID-19
travel restrictions, ForwardKeys said.

European destinations could attract more visitors in
the summer months if the aviation industry were more capable
to handle the surge in late spring travel demand and
the beginning of summer, the company said, adding that if there had not been
interruption, the restoration of reservations for intra-European flights would
were five percentage points higher.

The strongest non-European market, on the other hand, was
US down just 5 percent from 2019.

It was followed by Colombia and Israel, both down 9%,
South Africa with a 10% drop, Mexico with 12% and Canada
and Kuwait, both down 13.

Overall, markets of non-European origin decreased by 31 percent.

Meanwhile, Mubera Eresin, head of the hotel association of
Türkiye (TUROB), expects this upward trend to continue
throughout the year, adding that August is likely to be one of the
the best months of the year.

The diversity of visitor nationalities will increase from
September, according to Eresin.

From September onwards, the focus will be on the Europeans.

“We expect remarkable increases in our tourism markets, such as
Russia, Iran, Great Britain, the Balkans, Bulgaria, Latin America,
USA and Azerbaijan,” she said.

Eresin added that Turkey will be in an advantageous position
in 2023, unless there is an emergency.

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