Turkey hits record-high tourist numbers in 2014

Turkey hits record-high tourist numbers in 2014

ANKARA/LONDON-Anadolu Agency
Turkey hits record-high tourist numbers in 2014

AP Photo

The number of people visiting Turkey as tourists reached an all-time high of around 37 million in 2014, pushing Turkey closer to Italy in the most visited destination chart, Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said on Jan. 22.

Çelik said Turkey had managed to attract 5.5 percent more tourists in 2014 compared to the previous year, despite the political and geopolitical crises in the region.

“In 2014 the number of foreigners visiting our country rose from 34.9 million to 36.8 million, a 5.5 percent increase compared to the previous year,” he said, adding that the official tourist numbers and tourism incomes would soon be announced for 2014.

Pointing out that there were Turkish citizens who are residents in Europe but visit Turkey each year, Çelik said that this year their numbers were roughly expected to reach 5 million.

“If we add this, the number of Turkey’s visitors will come close to 42 million. This is a significant record. We are progressing toward becoming the fifth most visited country from sixth spot,” he said.

According to a World Tourism Organization 2014 report, Italy attracted the fifth most visitors with 47 million, one spot ahead of Turkey.