Country welcomes more than 37.5M foreigners in first 11 months of 2018, according to Culture and Tourism Ministry
The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey rose significantly in the January-November period, compared with the same period last year, according to data revealed on Friday.
According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, more than 37.5 million foreigners visited the country in the first 11 months of 2018, up 22.3 percent year-on-year.
The figures showed Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population and one of its top tourist draws, and the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya attracted the highest number of foreign visitors — 12.4 million and 12.3 million, respectively.
Russians accounted for over 15 percent or nearly 5.9 million of the visitors, followed by Germans with 11.6 percent (4.3 million visitors), and the U.K. with nearly 6 percent (2.2 million).
The largest annual growth was seen in Poland visitors, more than doubled from a year earlier. Colombians came in second with 94 percent increase.
The most preferred means of transport was by air with 28.7 million foreign visitors. Some 7.8 million and nearly 960,000 visitors used roadway/railway and seaway, respectively.
In November, the number of foreigners entered Turkey also surged 19 percent annually to reach nearly 2 million.
Last year, 32.4 million foreigners visited Turkey, while the number of arriving foreigners was 25.3 million in 2016.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan last month said Turkey will break its record of tourists by surpassing 40 million this year.
The country will host around 50 million tourists in 2019, Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said at the opening of the Turkish pavilion at the World Tourism Market 2018 in London in November.
“I am expecting a 23 percent increase next year. I hope we will reach the target of 48 million [tourists],” Ersoy added.