A record increase in the number of people coming to Turkey for shopping: while 1.6 million tourists chose Turkey for shopping in 2019 before the pandemic, this number increased to 1.2 million in the first half of 2022. Among the countries that make the most purchases from Turkey, Azerbaijanis are in the TOP-5.
A year before the epidemic, that is, in 2019, 1.6 million tourists chose Turkey only for shopping, but in the first half of 2022, this number increased to 1.2 million, breaking the record for the first half of all periods. The ministry started work on the promotional film for shopping tourism. In some regions, work has been started to spread tourist purchases, which account for more than 50 percent of sales, to all months of the year.
According to TUIK, while 1.5 million foreign visitors came to Turkey for shopping in 2017, this figure was 1.4 million in 2018 and 1.6 million in 2019. The number that fell with the epidemic was 764 thousand in 2020, and 774 in 2021. However, since the last quarter of last year, the depreciation of the lira against the dollar has made Turkey convenient for shopping. As a result, in the first half of this year, 1,177,000 foreigners chose Turkey for shopping, and this number was recorded as a record for 6 months. This year, this number is expected to reach 3 million.
During this period, foreigners spent 1 billion 841 million dollars on clothes and shoes, 2 billion 680 million dollars on food and drinks, and 782 million dollars on souvenirs and carpets/kilims. According to the statistics of the use of foreign credit cards of the Interbank Card Center, a total of 52 million 797 thousand transactions were made with foreign credit cards in the first half of this year, and the amount of purchases made in exchange for these transactions increased to 84 billion TL.
Izzet Stamati, president of the Trademark Association, said that the rate of foreign sales is up to 60 percent depending on the brand. Noting that the Saudis are the first in the buyer rating, Stamati said that Kuwait, Iran, Russia and Azerbaijan are in the top five, respectively.
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