Some 17 mln tourists expected to visit Istanbul

Some 17 mln tourists expected to visit Istanbul

Some 17 mln tourists expected to visit Istanbul

Around 17 million tourists are expected to visit Istanbul this year, with arrivals from European countries rising significantly, Turkish Tourism Investors’ Association (TTYD) chair Oya Narin has said.

In the first three months of 2022, 2.9 million foreign tourists visited the city, the country’s financial, cultural and commercial capital.

In March alone, foreign tourist arrivals in the metropolis leaped 112 percent from a year ago to 1.16 million people, according to data from the provincial directorate of culture and tourism.

Foreign tourist visits rose by 136 percent to 792,000 in January and increased by 173 percent to 956,000 in February.

“Tourism activity [in Istanbul] already showed signs of the revival. We hope to see a 20 percent increase in arrivals from European countries,” Narin said.

She noted that when it comes to prices, Turkey and Istanbul have competitive advantages over their rival holiday destinations.

Speaking at the Tourism Investment Forum organized by the TTYD, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said work to construct a cruise port in the Yenikapı quarter in Istanbul has begun.

“Cruise traffic in Istanbul is gaining momentum, as more than 200 cruise ships booked for Galataport and cruise ship visits could double. This potential shows that Istanbul needs another cruise port,” Ersoy said, adding that by 2024 or 2025, Turkey may become the top cruise ship destination in Europe.

Cruise tourism will generate 300 million euros in revenues this year, said Ali Güreli, chairman of Contemporary Istanbul.

As far as broader efforts to attract more tourists to Turkey, Ersoy noted that the tourism industry has been focused on diversifying its markets to weather the fallout from the global and regional crises.

“Efforts intensified in the final quarter of 2021. Presently, campaigns are underway in 140 countries to promote Turkey. The expectations that the local tourism industry would experience a V-shaped recovery are materializing now,” Ersoy said.