Richard Moor - Jul 1, 2024
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Turkey witnessed a remarkable surge in foreign tourism in May, with a record-breaking 5.1 million visitors, marking a 14 percent increase from the previous year. The Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism further revealed that the total number of arrivals during the first five months of the year reached 15.8 million, showing a substantial 12.5% annual increase from last year.

Major Tourist Destinations

Antalya, the popular resort town on the Turkish Riviera, was the top destination last month, attracting 1.8 million tourists, which accounted for 35 percent of the total arrivals. Antalya is known for its beaches, historical sites, and vibrant nightlife, making it a tourist favorite. The Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah quoted these figures, citing the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Istanbul, Turkey's largest city and main tourist hub, welcomed about 1.7 million visitors, followed by the Aegean coastal province of Mugla and the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders Bulgaria and Greece.

In May, Russians were the largest group of foreign visitors, totaling 739,000, which accounted for 14.4 percent of all international tourist arrivals.

Germans and Britons were among the top visitors, with 729 thousand and 550 thousand, respectively. Germans led the list with 1.9 million arrivals in the first five months, a 17 percent increase from the previous year. Russians followed with 1.8 million arrivals and Britons with 1.2 million, showcasing the diverse nationalities contributing to Turkey's tourism industry.

18 Million Tourists in the First Five Months

According to the Ministry data, 15,784,213 visitors to Turkey were foreigners. Additionally, 2,024,865 Turkish citizens residing abroad visited the country between January and March. Consequently, the total number of visitors reached 17,809,078.

In the first five months of this year, Germany sent the most visitors to the country, with an increase of 16.20 percent and a total of 1,122,930 visitors. The Russian Federation ranked second with 1,078,294 visitors, followed by Iran in third place with a 51.78 percent increase and 946,437 visitors. Bulgaria and the UK followed these countries in terms of visitor numbers.

Inbound tourism is pivotal in Turkey's economy, providing crucial foreign exchange that helps address the budget and current account deficit. The government's projection of 60 million tourists and an expected income of $60 billion for this year underscores the significant economic impact of Turkey’s tourism industry.

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