Turkey's Ministry of Culture and Tourism stated Turkey is targeting an average of 30% increase in demand for tourism services from the Middle East (TradeArabiaNewsService, 05-May-2010). The Ministry stated that despite global recessionary trends and difficult market conditions, the GCC and the greater Arab region "continues to be one of our strongest markets", with demand for tourism services increasing by 30% year-on-year from the region. A million tourists from the Arab region visited Turkey in 2009 with growth from the GCC alone increasing by 16.5%. The country attracted nearly 9,000 Kuwaitis, 15,500 visitors from Saudi Arabia, and over 27,000 visitors from Morocco last year.
Turkey planning for 30% tourism growth from the Middle East
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The Turkish leisure airline SunExpress and its German subsidiary SunExpress Germany have historically had a fairly low profile, certainly among European air travellers. Nevertheless, their combined total of 7.9 million passengers puts SunExpress in the top 20 European airline groups in 2016, ahead of Brussels Airlines.
Jointly owned by Turkish Airlines and Lufthansa, SunExpress and its German counterpart brought about a consolidated result that fell into loss in 2016 as passenger numbers and revenue both declined. When the observer scratches beneath the surface of the headline figures, a picture of significant strategic change at SunExpress Germany starts to emerge.
The larger Turkish SunExpress has maintained its focus on Turkey-Germany routes, whereas SunExpress Germany has abandoned this country pair. It has instead developed leisure routes from Germany to elsewhere in Europe and in North Africa, in spite of not having an obvious competitive advantage in those markets. Within these new market areas, SunExpress Germany has undergone substantial changes in its route portfolio. Lufthansa wetleases capacity from SunExpress Germany for its Eurowings low cost operation and this may help to make some sense of these outwardly random network changes.