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Traffic in Shopping Tourism Reverses


Traffic in Shopping Tourism Reverses

In the period before the rise in inflation, when Turkey, which was prominent in shopping tourism, especially in the border cities and Istanbul, became expensive for foreigners, the traffic reversed.

High inflation and exchange rate pressure turned the tide in tourist shopping. While foreigners’ purchases from Turkey decreased by 30-40 percent; The shopping made by Turkish citizens abroad has more than doubled both online and offline.

According to the news of Yener Karadeniz from Ekonomi Newspaper; The route of tourism shopping towards Turkey, which was directed towards Turkey with the effect of the exchange rate advantage in the past years, has been reversed due to the pressure on foreign exchange and high inflation in the last two years.

While foreigners’ shopping from Turkey decreased by 30-40 percent compared to previous years, Turkish citizens’ online and offline shopping from abroad broke records in terms of quantity and value.

According to Interbank Card Center (BKM) data, the number of purchases made from abroad with domestic cards in the first quarter of this year exceeded 83 million, while its value exceeded 80 billion TL.

In the same period last year, the number of purchases was 60 million 700 thousand and the shopping amount was 34 billion 143 million TL. These figures mean a 38.2 percent increase in the number of transactions and a 135 percent increase in value.


A similar situation also manifests itself in online shopping. Again, according to BKM data, the number of online shopping transactions made from abroad with domestic cards in the first quarter of this year increased to 72 million 815 thousand and its value increased to 43 billion 452 million TL.

These figures were 59 million 352 thousand units and 18 billion 568 million TL, respectively, in the first quarter of last year. Thus, in the past year, the number of online transactions made from abroad with domestic cards increased by 22.7 percent, while the transaction value increased by 138 percent.


Inflationary pressure in Turkey also led to a record in the number of Turkish citizens going abroad for shopping. According to Turkish Statistical Institute (TUIK) data, the number of Turkish citizens who left according to the reason for their departure last year increased to 11 million, while the number of those who stated their reason for leaving as shopping increased by 40 percent compared to the previous year, from 325 thousand to 455 thousand. Thus, the rate of citizens who declared shopping as the reason for going abroad on an annual basis increased from 4.9 percent to 5.5 percent.


So, what is the latest situation in foreigners’ shopping from Turkey?

Stating that Turkey has become a more expensive country than Europe at this point, United Brands Association (BMD) President Sinan Öncel , “For example, a standard product that costs 20 Euros in Italy or Greece is sold for 50 Euros in Turkey. Türkiye has become one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Until two years ago, approximately 10 percent of card spending in our country was made by foreigners. The rate remained around 6 percent last year. According to BKM data, the share of foreigners in total card spending dropped below 4 percent in the first two months of this year. “All these data do not give much hope for the summer season,” he said.

According to BKM data, the amount of shopping made with domestic and foreign cards in the first quarter of this year was 2 trillion 649 billion TL, while 83 billion TL of this, that is, only 3.1 percent, consisted of shopping made by foreigners. In the same period of 2022, this rate was 6 per hundred and 209 percent. Traffic in Shopping Tourism Reverses


Especially in 2021, with the effect of the exchange rate advantage, the number of daily visitors coming to Turkey for shopping from border countries such as Bulgaria, Georgia and Iran broke a record.

Kemal Cingöz, President of Edirne Chambers of Tradesmen and Craftsmen (EDESOB) In his evaluation to Yener Karadeniz from Ekonomi Newspaper, he pointed out that there was a decrease in the number of tourists coming for shopping compared to previous years and said, “Last year, they came like a swarm of locusts. There is no such situation now. There is a 30-40 percent decrease compared to previous years. One reason for this is that business people here opened businesses in Bulgaria. “They take the goods from here to there wholesale and sell them there,” he said.


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