Turkey’s tourism revenue grew 18.9 percent to 26.3 billion U.S. dollars in 2017, show official figures released on Wednesday.
According to data unveiled by the Turkish Statistic Institute, 77 percent of the income come from foreign visitors who spent an average of 630 dollars per capita during their stay in Turkey, while the rest was contributed by Turkish expatriates who spent 903 dollars per person.
Turkey drew a total of 38.6 million tourists in 2017, up 23.1 percent from the previous year, the institute said, noting that 32.8 million of them were foreigners.
Tourism once contributed four percent to Turkey’s GDP, but the industry declined in the past two years because of uncertainty marked by terror attacks, a failed coup and the country’s tension with a number of European countries, as tourism income and foreign arrivals both dropped nearly 30 percent in 2016.
Earlier this month, Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s minister of culture and tourism, said the sector has been tapping new markets and diversifying products in efforts to attract more tourists.
Turkey aims at drawing 50 million tourists and raising the revenue to 50 billion dollars by 2023, when the country will celebrate its 100th anniversary of founding.