Foreign tourist arrivals in Türkiye soar 23 percent

Turkiye tourism upward trend

Some 2.3 million foreign tourists visited Türkiye in February, pointing to a strong 22.6 percent increase from the same month of last year, data from the Tourism and Culture Ministry have shown.

In the first month of 2024, Türkiye welcomed more than 2 million foreign holidaymakers, which marked a 2.1 percent annual increase.

In the January-February period, foreign tourist arrivals in Türkiye rose 12 percent from a year ago to reach 4.34 million.

Iranians claimed the top spot in the list of international visitors in the first two months of 2024. Some 438,000 Iranians visited Türkiye in January-February, a robust 94 percent increase compared to the same period of 2023.

The number of Russian tourists, however, dropped 14.6 percent year-on-year to 433,654, while visitors from Bulgaria rose 8.6 percent to 345,301, showed the ministry data.

Germans ranked third in the list. In the first two months of 2024, Türkiye welcomed 330,771 German tourists, a 14.8 percent annual increase. Georgians came fourth at 207,306.

Istanbul was the most favorite destination among foreign holidaymakers, read a news report by Hurriyet Daily News.

In January-February, the mega city welcomed nearly 2.5 million people, accounting for 57 percent of all foreign tourist arrivals.

Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, captured a 9.2 percent share of total foreign tourist visits. In the first two months of 2024, more than 400,000 foreigners vacationed in the city.

The northwestern province of Edirne’s share was nearly 12 percent or around 507,000 people. People from Bulgaria travel to Edirne mostly for shopping purposes, reported Hurriyet Daily News.

Tourism is one of the main sources of hard currency for the Turkish economy, helping to finance the country’s current account deficit.

Last year, Türkiye’s tourism revenues amounted to $54.3 billion, pointing to a strong 16.9 percent increase compared to 2022. In 2023, foreign tourist visits increased by 10.4 percent from the previous year to 49.2 million. Including Turks residing abroad, the country welcomed 56.7 million visitors.

The average expenditure per visitor was $952 last year, up from $905 in 2022, while the average expenditure per night rose nearly 12 percent to $99.

In 2024, Türkiye aims to attract 60 million visitors and boost its revenues from tourism to $60 billion.

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