Nearly 16 million foreign tourists visit Türkiye in 5 months

Some 15.78 million foreign tourists visited Türkiye in the January-May period, marking a 12.47 percent increase from a year ago, according to data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry released on June 25.

Including Turks residing abroad, 17.8 million people visited the country in the first five months of 2024. In May alone, foreign tourist arrivals surged 14 percent year-on-year to 5.13 million, accelerating from the 8.7 percent annual increase recorded in the previous month.

Germans constituted the largest group of foreign holidaymakers in the January-May period, accounting for 11.7 percent of all tourist arrivals.

From January to May, 1.85 million Germans vacationed in Türkiye, up from 1.58 million a year ago. The number of Russians visiting Türkiye inched up 1.3 percent year-on-year to 1.82 million, capturing an 11.5 percent share in total foreign tourist arrivals, reported Hurriyet Daily News.

Britons ranked third in the list of foreign tourists, with 1.2 million British nationals visiting Türkiye in January-May, pointing to a 23 percent increase from a year ago.

In the first five months of 2024, Türkiye also welcomed 1.17 million Iranians, a 47 percent surge compared with the same period of last year. The 125 percent year-on-year increase in the number of Chinese tourists was also noticeable. In January-May, more than 150,000 Chinese nationals visited Türkiye, according to the ministry data. Visitors from the U.S. rose 4.7 percent to nearly 390,0000.

The news report by Hurriyet Daily News added that despite the ongoing war with Russia, more than 290,000 Ukrainian holidaymakers visited Türkiye, up 15.7 percent from January to May last year.

Istanbul was the most-visited city, attracting 6.9 million tourists in the first five months of 2024, followed by the Mediterranean province of Antalya at 3.7 million. Türkiye aims to lure 60 million tourists and generate $60 billion in tourism revenues this year.

Tourism is an important source of hard currency to Türkiye, helping finance the current account deficit. The latest balance of payments data of the Central Bank showed that under services, travel items recorded a net inflow of $2.55 billion in April, when the current account deficit widened from $4.4 billion to $5.3 billion.

In the first four months of 2024, net inflows under the travel item amounted to $8.75 billion, up from $8.4 billion a year earlier. Türkiye’s current account deficit shrank from $29.7 billion in January-April 2023 to $16.1 billion in the same period of 2024.

Nearly 16 million foreign tourists visit Turkiye in 5 months

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