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Turkey's aviation industry responds to rise in British visitors

Posted 20 August 2012 · Add Comment

The Turkish Culture and Tourism Office UK has announced that Turkey attracted 2.58 million British visitors in 2011 from a total of 31.4 million foreign visitors.

The number of foreign visitors to Turkey in June this year has also increased by 2.7% year-on-year to 3.88 million. Over the last five years, the country has seen a 50% increase in foreign visitors.

The UK now makes up the third largest proportion of visitors to Turkey after Germany and Russia. Minitel research indicates that the top reasons British visitors give for visiting Turkey are its “sunny weather, culture and history, clean beaches, good value and the Turkish hospitality”.  The same research has found that 8 out of 10 tourists from the UK visit historical places and museums even though most holidays spent in Turkey are seaside holidays.

It seems that tourists are attracted by the vast range of holiday experiences offered by Turkey, encompassing two Wonders of the Ancient World, 11 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, 314 Blue Flag beaches and 17 Blue Flag Marinas, diverse flora and fauna and 20 world-class golf courses, to name just a few.

Istanbul in particular has seen a year-on-year increase of 46.68% in foreign visitors in the first three months of 2012, equating to 1,605,741 visitors.  To deal with this visitor increase, within a year Istanbul's Ataturk Airport will double its capacity to 70 aircraft an hour with a new fourth runway meeting its estimated needs for the next 10 years.

Elsewhere in Turkey, a new terminal opened at Bodrum's Milas airport in May with a capacity of up to five million passengers and serving around 40 destinations.

Airlines have also responded to the rise in visitors to Turkey, with Turkish Airlines increasing the number of flights between Gatwick and Istanbul to 14 times a week. Meanwhile, Pegasus Airlines has launched twice daily flights to Istanbul and beyond from London, followed by a new Istanbul–Sanliurfa route.

Jet2 has also launched new flights to Bodrum from Glasgow Airport and has increased the number of flights to both Bodrum and Dalaman from Leeds Bradford Airport. Flights to Bodrum are up to twice a week while those to Dalaman are up to four times a week.
Atlasjet launched flights from London Stansted to both Istanbul and Antalya in May. Flights to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport are running six days a week, with those to Antalya running on Saturdays.


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