ISTANBUL (Agencies): Foreign tourist arrivals leaped more than 108 percent in January-August from the same period of 2021 to 29.3 million, data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry
Some 3.9 million Germans visited Türkiye in the first eight months, topping the list of foreign tourists, followed by Russians.
This was above the 1.9 million German holidaymakers the country attracted a year ago. Despite the ongoing war in Ukraine, more than 3 million Russians came to the country, accounting for 10 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals. Between January-August, 2.5 million Russian vacationed in Türkiye.
Britons ranked third at 2.4 million, while 1.7 million Bulgarian nationals visited Türkiye in January-August.
Türkiye also hosted more than 1.5 million Iranian tourists in the first eight months of 2022.
Including Turkish citizens residing abroad, the total number of visitors reached 32.5 million people, said the ministry.
Istanbul was the most popular destination among foreign tourists, the data from the ministry showed.
Some 10.2 million foreigners arrived in the city in the first eight months of the year, corresponding to 35 percent of all tourists visiting the county.
Antalya, which is a favorite place especially among Russians on the Mediterranean coast, ranked second, welcoming 8.6 million foreign tourists.
More than 3 million tourists visited the northwestern province of Edirne in January-August. Over the past year, Edirne has been attracting shoppers from neighboring Bulgaria and Greece. The visitor inflow from Bulgaria gathered pace especially after Türkiye scrapped the visa requirement for the country’s citizens in July.
The province of Mugla, another major holiday destination, hosted 2.1 million foreign holidaymakers in the first seven months of the year, while Izmir, the country’s third largest city on the Aegean coast, attracted over 1 million tourists.
In August alone, foreign tourist arrivals in Türkiye increased by 58.3 percent from a year ago to a total of 6.3 million people.
But the number of foreign tourists declined by 5.4 percent from July, when the country hosted 6.7 million international holidaymakers.
As tourism activity picked up, Türkiye revised upwards its tourism targets. The country now expects 47 million tourists bringing $37 billion in revenue this year, up from the previous estimates of 42 million tourists and $35 billion in revenue from tourism activities.