By Gokhan Ergocun
ANKARA (AA) - Domestic tourism spending ballooned in the third quarter of 2017, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) said in a statement Tuesday.
Nearly 25 million Turkish residents took over 33 million domestic trips, with the number of domestic visitors up 3.3 percent, while spending by residents surged 16.1 percent to 17.8 billion Turkish liras (around $5.1 billion) during the July-September period.
The number of domestic trips -- one night or more -- by residents of Turkey rose nearly 0.1 percent in the third quarter of the year, compared to the same period in 2016.
Visiting relatives was the primary purpose of trips at 62.6 percent, followed by travel, leisure, and holiday at 31.3 percent, and health at 3.4 percent.
"In this quarter domestic visitors mostly stayed at the houses of friend or relatives," the statement said.
Domestic visitors made 357.3 million overnight stays in the third quarter of the year, while the average number of overnight stays was 10.8.
The average expenditure per trip jumped 15.88 percent to 540 Turkish liras (around $153.4), compared to the same period in 2016.
Domestic tourism expenditures were made up of individual expenditures and package tour expenditures. While 88.8 percent of domestic tourism expenditures were individual (15.8 billion liras or $4.5 billion), 11.2 percent of them were on package tours (nearly 2 billion liras or $567,622).
In the first 9 months of 2017, 49.1 million Turkish residents made 63.4 million domestic trips and spent 29.8 million liras (around $8.3 billion).
The next data on this subject is due on May 7, said TurkStat.