International travel and tourism continues to enjoy a strong post-Covid recovery. Mastercard has published its tourism trends report for the first quarter of 2024. The report data is based on POS spending by international cards with Mastercard and Maestro logos in Turkey and selected other countries and compares the first three-month periods of January-March in 2023 and 2024.

According to the report’s results, foreign card transactions in Turkey continued to grow in the first quarter of 2024. Turnover-based growth, which was 12% in the same period of 2023, was 7%, and quantity-based growth/number of visitors, which was 1%, was 16%. When examining the country-based distribution of individual foreign card payments in Turkey, spending with UK-based cards maintained its top position, while Egyptian-based cards set a growth record compared to the previous year.

Avşar Gürdal, General Manager of Mastercard Turkey and Azerbaijan, said: “Our country’s value propositions in the field of tourism are becoming richer day by day. The appeal in many areas, from history and culture to art, gastronomy, and travel, makes it stand out as a destination. As Mastercard, with the unique experiences we offer to both local and international visitors, we aim to reinforce our country’s position as one of the most popular tourist destinations.

The British lead, followed by the Germans

“In this context, through our global Priceless Platform, we transform the values of our country into experiences and promote Turkey’s destinations to both local and foreign tourists through these experiences. According to our latest tourism trends report, foreign card transactions in Turkey grew by 7% in turnover and 16% in quantity in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period of the previous year. These increases in visitors and spending reflect the short-term and long-term positive impacts of our investments and innovative strategies in the sector. With these data and developments, we will continue to support our country’s economy through our investments and innovations in the tourism sector.”

According to the report, the top five countries with the highest spending (turnover) through foreign cards in Turkey were the UK (17%), Germany (12%), the US (6%), Saudi Arabia (5%), and the Netherlands (4%).

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