Turkey which has recently been enjoying a substantial increase in tourism revenues is getting ready to host 500 thousand Chinese tourists, annually. In the meantime, good news has come from China that new flights will be launched by SICHUAN Airlines from Chengdu to Istanbul on 30 April 2019. Moreover, it was reported that China Southern Airlines would start flights from Wuhan to Istanbul in addition to flights resumed from Beijing and Lucky Air would launch flights from Kunming to Istanbul, as well. Thus, it is forecasted that the number of Chinese tourists to visit Turkey will go up to 500 thousand, annually.
Based on data provided by Ministry of Culture and Tourism 394 thousand Chinese tourists came to Turkey in 2018, corresponding to an increase of 59 percent. Nevertheless both countries believe the potential is much higher than this figure and are working on how to increase this number to 1 million tourists.
There is no doubt the flights from Beijing to Istanbul, launched by China's largest airline company China Southern Airlines a short while ago has started to contribute to increasing number of Chinese visiting Turkey, despite a three times a week frequency.
According to information provided by the Chinese authorities China Southern Airlines will start flying from Wuhan located in the middle of the country to Istanbul, three times a week, starting June 2019. It was also reported by same sources that there would be a substantial demand for flights to be conducted by wide-body aircraft.
On the other hand, Sichuan Airlines will also start flights from Chengdu, known as homeland of Pandas to Istanbul on a 3 times a week frequency. Sichuan Airlines is reported to conduct flights to 93 destinations with 139 aircraft. Moreover, Lucky Air will launch flights to Istanbul from Kunming, in the south east of China. All in all, the contribution thus provided by above mentioned 3 airline companies is expected to pull the number of Chinese visiting Turkey up to 500 thousand, annually.
Chine had earlier declared 2014 "Turkish Year" to contribute to promotion of Turkey’s tourism. Based on information provided by Chinese authorities, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Efes and Istanbul are top of the list, among places most visited by Chinese tourists. It is also reported that Chinese tourists spend an average of US$ 1,000 on their visits to Turkey.
In 2017, Chinese citizens spent a total of U$258 billion during their holidays across the globe corresponding to an average of US$ 2,000 per person.