Newly released official data shows that Istanbul, Turkey's largest city, experienced a remarkable surge in foreign tourist arrivals during July, reaching the highest influx in a decade.
The city welcomed approximately 1.87 million visitors, a 6% increase from the same period last year, surpassing the previous record of almost 1.76 million recorded in July 2022.
Increase in tourism from Europe and Russia
The increase in tourism this year can be attributed to an influx of holidaymakers from Europe, particularly Germany and the United Kingdom, and visitors from Russia.
In July, Russia, Germany, and Saudi Arabia were the top three countries of origin for foreign tourists visiting Istanbul. Other countries, such as the United States, Iran, France, and the United Kingdom, also saw an increase in visitors.
January to July figures show a welcome increase
From January to July, Istanbul welcomed almost 9.78 million foreigners, marking a 15% increase from the same period last year. This figure accounts for almost one-third of the 26.77 million tourists who visited Turkey in the same period.
Tourism is a crucial source of revenue for Turkey, and the government is focusing on increasing foreign arrivals to reduce the current account deficit and tackle inflation. Last year, Turkey experienced a complete rebound in tourism, generating all-time high revenues, and prompting the government to raise its annual estimates.
Predictions for 60 million visitors in 2023, and 30 million more by 2028
The government predicts that foreign arrivals will reach 60 million this year and 90 million in 2028, with revenues expected to reach $56 billion this year and $100 billion in five years. It is worth noting that tourism contributes about 10% to Turkiye’s gross domestic product (GDP), and around 1.7 million people work in accommodation and food services, accounting for about 5% of total employment.
Overall, the country's efforts to boost tourism have been successful, with Istanbul being a popular destination for tourists from all over the world. The city's rich history, diverse culture, and stunning architecture have made it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Turkey.
Significant economic benefits to be seen soon for Turkey
As the government continues its efforts to attract more foreign visitors, it is expected that Istanbul's tourism industry will continue to thrive, providing significant economic benefits for the country.
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