Turkey hosts 1.8 mln tourists in November
Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey increased for nine months in a row to reach 1.8 million in November, official data showed on Dec. 24.
The number of foreigners visiting Turkey jumped by 111.5 percent from the same month of last year, when pandemic-related restrictions hit global tourism hard.
The November figure was still down 19.5 percent compared to the pre-pandemic level in November 2019, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, was the top draw for foreign visitors with a 57 percent share, attracting 997,621 foreigners last month.
It was followed by the Mediterranean province of Antalya and the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece.
Including Turkish citizens living abroad, the country welcomed 2.6 million visitors in November, ministry data showed.
Russians made up 11 percent or 192,809 of all visitors, followed by 159,237 Bulgarians, 152,026 Germans, 136,950 Iranians and 67,797 Iraqis.
In January-November, the country welcomed 22.8 million foreign visitors, up 89.6 percent from the same period last year.
Turkey aims to achieve strong growth in tourism next year, overtaking pre-pandemic revenues. The Tourism Ministry expects tourism revenues to reach $24 billion this year. In 2020, Turkey generated $12.6 billion tourism revenues with a 65.1 percent year-on-year decline.