Turkey, a nation that boasts awe-inspiring landscapes, a rich history, and a vibrant culture, has become an increasingly popular tourist destination in recent years.
The latest official data shows that the country has seen a significant increase in foreign visitors during the first seven months of 2023, with a total of 26.76 million visitors entering the country between January and July.
Huge increases on previous years
This marks an impressive increase of 16.22% compared to the previous year, with over 3 million Turkish citizens residing abroad also included for an overall figure of 30.09 million visitors.
Even the pandemic failed to slow the thriving industry
Despite the ongoing pandemic crisis aftermath, Turkey's tourism industry continues to thrive, attracting visitors from all corners of the world. In fact, almost 3.32 million Turkish citizens who live abroad chose to visit the country for a holiday, a testament to its alluring appeal.
The country's tourism sector has proven to be resilient and adaptive, with strict health and safety measures in place to ensure the well-being of visitors.
Tourist hub and resort city take top spot for foreign visitors
The city of Istanbul, Turkey's largest and most renowned tourist hub, proved to be the most visited city in the country, with nearly 9.77 million foreign visitors during the seven-month period.
Following closely behind was Antalya, a popular Mediterranean resort city with 7.7 million foreign tourists. Antalya has experienced a record high number of visitors this year, particularly during a holiday, when tourist arrivals surged by an impressive 20%.
Staggering revenue increases
This surge in foreign tourists has had a positive impact on tourism revenue in the first six months of 2023, with revenues rising by 27% year-over-year to a staggering $21.7 billion.
The per capita overnight income has also witnessed a significant increase of over 11%, reaching nearly $100 (per capita). This increase in income has been attributed to the rise in the number of high-spending tourists who are choosing to visit Turkey.
Aspiring goals for the future
The Turkish government has set an ambitious goal of attracting 60 million foreign arrivals this year and 90 million by 2028, with tourism income expected to rise to $56 billion this year and $100 billion in five years.
In 2022, the number of foreign visitors skyrocketed by 80.33% to 44.6 million, coming just shy of the peak of 45.1 million in 2019, which was considered a record year for tourism.
These impressive figures indicate that Turkey is reclaiming its position as one of the world's most popular tourist destinations and is poised to continue its upward trajectory in the years to come.
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