Experts say the unrest in Arab Spring countries has led to a desire for safe holiday havens – and Turkey is at the top of the list. Major tourist destinations like Tunisia and Egypt saw numbers plummet thanks to last year’s uprisings and unrest.
“Tourist flow from North Africa and Middle Eastern countries increased by more than 400 per cent last year,” says Cameron Deggin of Place Overseas. “Turkey is seen by tourists as a stable, reliable destination.”
Deggin added that Turkey’s economic situation has also made the country very attractive not only for getaways but for investment. “We are seeing a surge in the number of Middle Eastern buyers who want a safe place to invest their funds. These buyers tend to favour Istanbul, where capital gains are extremely high.”
Turkey received 1.4 million Middle Eastern tourists in the first eight months of 2011, up from 1.2 million in 2010.