The World Travel & Tourism Council’s latest Economic Impact Report (EIR) reveals Turkey’s travel and tourism’s GDP is forecast to grow at an average rate of 5.5% annually over the next decade, more than twice the 2.5% growth rate of country’s overall economy.
The forecast from the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) shows by 2032, the sector’s contribution to the nations GDP could reach nearly TRY 1,036 billion (US$117 billion), representing 11% of the total economy.
The sector is also expected to create more than 716,000 new jobs over the next decade.
By the end of this year, the sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 15.5% to nearly TRY 607 billion (US$68.5 billion), amounting to 8.3% of the nation’s economy, while employment in the sector is set to grow by 4% to reach more than 2.5 million jobs.
Latest flight booking data from WTTC’s knowledge partner ForwardKeys shows that over the key summer period this year, Turkey is set to be the fourth most popular European hot spots amongst sun-seeking travellers, who will be heading to city destinations such as Istanbul, and the beaches of Antalya, Bodrum, and Dalaman.
The data shows that flight bookings are already overtaking pre-pandemic levels with bookings from the UK up 101%.
Other source markets are also outperforming 2019, with bookings from the U.S., Canada, and Ireland up 57%, 28% and 18% respectively.
Julia Simpson, WTTC President & CEO, said: “The future looks bright for Turkey’s travel and tourism sector with its contribution to GDP set to outpace the national economy for the next 10 years, creating almost three quarters of a million new jobs.
“Flight booking data from our partner ForwardKeys clearly shows that this popular destination is set to enjoy a bumper summer season.
“Before the pandemic, Turkey’s economy was highly reliant on international tourism, so its recovery is critical to both the economy and jobs.”
Turkey’s travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP was 11% (TRY 693.3 billion or US$78.2 billion) in 2019, falling to just 5.1% (TRY 327.2 billion or US$36.9 billion) in 2020, which represented a painful 52.8% loss.
The sector also supported nearly 2.6 million jobs across the country, before suffering an 18% drop, falling to 2.1 million.
WTTC’s latest EIR report also reveals that 2021 saw the beginning of the recovery for the Turkish travel and tourism sector.
Last year, its contribution to GDP climbed 60.6% year on year, to reach TRY 525.5 billion (US$59.3 billion).
The sector also saw a recovery of almost 300,000 Travel & Tourism jobs, representing a 14% rise to reach more than 2.4 million.
The global tourism body says the sector’s contribution to the economy and employment could have been higher if it weren’t for the impact of the Omicron variant, which led to the recovery faltering around the world, with many countries reinstating severe travel restrictions.