ISTANBUL: Turkish Airlines has reported a significant growth in the number of inbound tourists to Turkey from the GCC, with a 10.5 per cent increase in the number of GCC travellers compared to last year.
The data, which was revealed at the Arabian Travel Market, showed the biggest increase belonged to travellers from Saudi Arabia, which saw a growth of 18 per cent to reach 530,410 people.
The second largest growth in tourist numbers was from the UAE to Turkey, reporting an increase of 14 per cent.
Mr. M. İlker Aycı, Turkish Airlines’ chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, said: “2016 has been a successful year for Turkish Airlines in terms of our global fleet and network expansion as we continue to build momentum for our excellent in-flight and customer service. Our network expansion has also been a pivotal step in supporting the increasing customer demand in all our markets, including the UAE and the wider GCC. Through new and innovative features, as well as having a growing fleet, our aim is to provide customers with the best possible options, both in terms of new destinations and innovative products and services.”
Travel onward to Europe from the Middle East has seen a significant boost this year. Majority of Middle Eastern travellers who chose Turkish Airlines to travel to Turkey and Europe preferred Istanbul, London, Barcelona, Paris, Amsterdam, Bosnia and Herzegovina as their key destinations. Transatlantic destinations of US and Canada continue to be the top choices for travel westward.
The airline also reported that the top three outbound destinations from Turkey to travel in the GCC region are Jeddah, Dubai and Kuwait reflecting that the GCC market continues to be a popular attraction for many.