10-high year high in July after influx of Istanbul tourists


Official data showed that Istanbul hit a 10-year high in July in terms of number of foreign tourists visiting the city.

The provincial culture and tourism executive committee data showed that in July Istanbul welcomed almost 1.76 million foreign tourists. This was an increase of 56% compared to the 1.1 million tourists who visited Istanbul in the same month last year.

The data showed that over 1.7 million arrived in Istanbul by air and a further 28,827 by sea. The number of arrivals by air had shot up by over half compared to data from the same month the previous year, and the number of arrivals from the sea had increase rapidly by almost 900%.

In the first seven months of this year, data showed that Istanbul had also been the destination of almost 40% of all foreign tourists and visitors to the country, equating to 8.5 million.

Turkey’s visitor numbers

Between January and July, there was a surge of 128% from the previous year, attracting over 23 million visitors from other countries, according to official data. This paved the way for $37 billion in tourism revenue.

After the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, Russian tourists have faced flight restrictions by Western countries, and in response, Russian tourists have flocked to Turkey. The number of German and British tourists to the country has also risen strongly.

A country breakdown of visitors

Germans were the highest welcomed, with 142,077 visitors visiting the city, followed closely by Russia with 133,218 visitors welcomed. The US was third with 97,355 tourists visiting Istanbul and Iran came in at fourth with a total of 94,708 visitors to the city.

So far in 2022, Germany has been the top visiting country to Turkey, with 2.99 million visitors originating from there. Russians were the next highest visitors to Turkey, with a total of 2.2 million tourists visiting the country. In third place is visitors from Britain, at 1.8 million.

Revenues and new goals

Between April and June of 2022, Turkey’s revenue from tourism surged by 190% from the previous year. In 2022, April to June hit $8.72 billion in revenue, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Because of the popularity of Turkey by foreign tourists, the government raised its year-end target in July from 45 million tourists and $35 billion revenue from tourism to 47 million arrivals and a revenue total of $37 billion.

Looking to the future

It is hoped by officials that 2022 could produce similar numbers as 2019 or even exceed it in terms of tourism. In 2019 there were 52 million visitors to the country, with 7 million Russians and 1.6 million Ukrainians – this brought in a revenue to the country of $34 billion.


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