Mastercard published its updated tourism report for the year 2023, based on foreign card POS transactions conducted in Türkiye and the countries that send the most tourists to Türkiye.

According to the data, transactions made with foreign-origin cards in Türkiye saw an annual increase of 12% in the number of transactions and 63% in turnover compared to 2022. The number of tourists experienced a yearly growth of 15%. The leading payment method in terms of the volume and number of card tourism spending transactions was the debit card, accounting for 67% of the transactions by number, while credit cards accounted for 33%.

In Türkiye, transactions made with foreign-origin cards in 2023 saw a 12% increase in the number of transactions and a 63% increase in turnover compared to the previous year. The annual growth in the number of tourists was recorded at 15%. During the same period, the leading payment method in terms of card tourism spending transaction volume and number was the debit card. The turnover-based breakdown of card types was 57% for debit cards and 43% for credit cards. In terms of the number of transactions, 67% were made with debit cards and 33% with credit cards.

The growth rate of foreign cards concentrated in the west of Türkiye

In comparison to the previous year, the trend of increased market expenditures continued in card tourism spending transactions, while the growth rate of expenditures made by foreigners in Antalya surpassed other provinces. The city-based distribution of turnover in card tourism spending transactions was as follows: Istanbul (46%), Antalya (20%), Muğla (9%), İzmir (4%), Aydın (2%), and other provinces (19%). The sector-based distribution of turnover was jewelry/duty-free/leather products (20%), clothing (17%), hotel (15%), restaurant (12%), market (8%), and others (27%).

What did tourists spend the most on in Antalya and Muğla?

Among the top five cities where foreigners spent the most, hotel expenditures were the most significant in Muğla, while jewelry/duty-free/leather products were the primary expenses in other provinces. When looking at the country-based distribution of individual foreign cards used for spending in Türkiye cards from the UK maintained their top position in terms of turnover. The top five countries in terms of turnover were the UK (46%), Germany (19%), America (13%), the Netherlands (5%), and Saudi Arabia (5%). The annual growth rates of these countries in 2023 compared to 2022 were the UK (35%), Germany (17%), America (17%), the Netherlands (8%), and Saudi Arabia (33%).

Key findings from the report are summarized as follows:

-There was no significant change in the quarter-specific spending habits of foreigners making the most expenditures in Türkiye. The sectors where spending was made generally included health, jewelry/duty-free/leather products, restaurants, clothing, and hotels.

-The sectors where foreigners showed interest in other countries were similar to those where they spent the most in Türkiye. According to the research, nearly half of the foreign tourists visit Türkiye the most during the third quarter of the year, with a 42% rate.

-British tourists mainly spent on markets, restaurants, and clothing; Germans on clothing, hotels, and restaurants; Americans on hotels, restaurants, and markets; Dutch on gasoline, restaurants, and clothing; and Saudis on jewelry/duty-free/leather products, clothing, and hotels.

-For cards from the UK, the majority of the volume passed through debit cards, while Antalya for hotels and Istanbul for jewelry/duty-free/leather products stood out in terms of turnover size.

-For cards from Germany, the volume predominantly passed through debit cards, with Antalya and İstanbul leading in turnover size for jewelry/duty-free/leather products and clothing sectors.

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-For cards from America, the volume largely passed through credit cards, with Istanbul, taking the largest share of turnover at 65%, showing high demand for jewelry/duty-free/leather products and hotels.

-For cards from the Netherlands, the volume predominantly passed through debit cards, with İstanbul and Antalya, making up 50% of the turnover, showing high demand for restaurants and jewelry/duty-free/leather products.

-For cards from Saudi Arabia, the majority of the volume passed through credit cards; clothing, hotels, and restaurant sectors saw high demand.

Editor: Haber Merkezi