In contrast to the decline in the number of European tourists traveling to Turkey due to recent negative events, there was a 20 percent increase in the number of tourists coming from Europe to the country in the first two months of the year for plastic surgery, Emin Çakmak, founding president of the Turkish Health Tourism Development Council (THTC) said.

Evaluating the 20 percent rise in travel for plastic surgery, he said, “Germany and the Netherlands are the two markets in which we have the most tourists. There were some cancellations coming from the Netherlands in the last period, however, we think there will be a recovery especially after the elections in the country,” Çakmak said.

$12,000 revenue from health tourism on average

Çakmak stated that while in 2016 there was a decline in tourism in Turkey, there was an increase in health tourism, saying: “We hosted 746,000 health tourists in 2015. The number increased to 750,000 in 2016. The revenue of $5.2 billion rose to $5.8 billion, while 90 percent of this came from medical tourism and the rest from [people traveling to Turkey for] plastic surgery,” he said. Explaining that the increase in income was the result of a capacity increase in transfer centers, Çakmak said that the Health Ministry increased the number of licensed centers in 2015, saying: “The capacity doubled and this was reflected in the revenue because these transplantations are the operations whose cost varies between $100,000 and $650,000,” he added.