Number of foreign arrivals jump as tourists flood to Turkey

Antalya in Turkey

Official data has shown that the number of foreign arrivals landing in Turkey has jumped up by 21.35% in February as tourists continue to fly to the country.

Turkey has been subject to a complete rebound following the pandemic as the number of foreign travellers nears the record and all-time highs in revenue which were seen in 2022; this has prompted the government to raise its tourism estimates for the year of 2023.

The Ministry’s views on the increasing tourist figures

Culture and Tourism Ministry explained that the amount of foreign tourists that arrived in Turkey in February jumped to 1.87 million, which can be compared with the arrivals in 2022, 2021 and 2020 which were sat at 1.54 million, 537,976 and 1.7 million respectively. The country took a hit in 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic but prior to the pandemic, the country saw a good figure for visitors and the figure has slowly risen since the pandemic ended.

The top five tourist countries flocking to Turkey

According to the data published, the countries topping the list for foreigners visiting Turkey in February of this year were Russia, Bulgaria, and Germany. Russia led the way with travellers with over 227,965 tourists arriving in Turkey; this is an increase of approximately 103% when compared to the same figure a year ago.

Bulgaria followed in second with 150,873 visitors – this was up 17.14% year-on-year – while Germany took third place with 148,169 tourists arriving – up by 15.16% compared to 2022. Also in the top five were Iran and Georgia, which had approximately 113,000 and 104,000 travellers choosing Turkey as their destination respectively in February, according to the data published.

The main cities in Turkey welcoming tourists

Turkey’s largest city by population, Istanbul, and a top tourist destination, attracted 1.08 million tourists in February alone. This was followed by Edirne, which is a city situated in the northwest of Turkey near the border of Bulgaria and Greece. Edirne welcomed 222,554 visitors, while Antalya received 196,492 arrivals.

New expectations for the coming years

Mehmet Nuri Ersoy, the Culture and Tourism Minister, said he expected the number of foreign arrivals to reach 60 million by 2023, with expectations set at 90 million for 2028. In terms of revenue, the government expects it to rise to a total of $56 billion this year alone, with the plan for 2028, five years from now, to have a revenue of $100 billion.


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