Volume or Value: A Policy Decision for Turkey׳s Tourism Industry

Ahmet Ozturk, University of Central Florida
Mathilda van Niekerk, University of Central Florida


Turkey has seen an overall increase in both international tourist arrivals and receipts over the past decade. While this would normally be seen unequivocally as a good news story, the simple facts may be deceiving. Although tourist arrival figures and tourism receipts are still increasing, there has been a decline in the rate of growth of both. Moreover, the rate of growth for tourism receipts has decreased more than the rate of growth for tourist arrivals. If this trend continues, it is likely to create a situation where one could begin to question the future economic sustainability of Turkey׳s tourism industry. Is this reduction in the rate of growth a sign that Turkey has reached the consolidation stage of the destination life cycle or, even worse, the stagnation stage? This regional spotlight takes a historical look at Turkey׳s nine ‘five-year-development plans’ and identifies the factors that have caused the rate of growth of tourism receipts to decline. The paper then focuses on how the ‘Tourism Strategy of Turkey – 2023’ might assist in slowing down, arresting or even reversing this rate of decline. This regional spotlight provides insight to practitioners and academics on how tourism development policies can directly influence the growth of tourism receipts in mature, mass-market tourist destinations.