1,226,665 GCC travellers landed in Turkey between January and June 2017, according to data released by the Turkish Consulate General Cultural and Information Office in Dubai.
Tourist traffic to Turkey from the GCC rose by 26.29% as compared to 2016.
The number of United Arab Emirates citizens and residents travelling to Turkish destinations increased by 9.86%. While Kuwaiti traveler numbers increased by 41.04% and 31.86% from Bahrain.
“We expect GCC traveller traffic to Turkey to continue its strong growth over the coming six months,” says Salih Ozer, attaché of culture and information, Turkey to the UAE.
“Turkey continues to be a leading destination for GCC travelers due to our close cultural, religious and diplomatic ties with the region.”
The first six months of last 2016 saw a decrease of 20.99% in traveller traffic from the UAE to Turkey, and this year recovered to increase by 10%.
Travelers from Saudi Arabia lead the way however, with over 205,000 holidaymakers, followed by Kuwait and Bahrain with 94 thousand and 23 thousand respectively. Tourists from the UAE showed continued interest in Turkey with over 18 thousand travelers landing in the country between January and June.
The greatest increase in the Gulf countries is observed in Kuwait as always. Kuwait, which is the Gulf country that sends the most tourists to Turkey after Saudi Arabia every year, closed this year with an increase of 41.04%, over 94,000 people over the same time period.
Flights from Kuwait did not only head towards the traditional destinations such as Istanbul and Antalya, but to alternative ones such as Bursa and Izmir
Similar to last year, Bahrain so far this year saw traveller traffic grow by 31.86%.
“We see serious demand for Turkey in Bahrain and we are working to reinforce our cultural and tourism ties by organising activities like workshops and Turkish Food festivals,” Ozer said.