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Foreign Tourists in Türkiye hit Record 46.7 Million Before Year-end

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Foreign Tourists in Türkiye hit Record 46.7 Million Before Year-end

(CTN News) – Official statistics showed on Friday that the number of international tourists arriving in Türkiye reached a record high as of November. The country still has one month to build on this record, a crucial indicator for the industry’s buoyant year.

According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, foreign arrivals soared by 10.82% year-over-year from January through November, reaching 46.7 million. This figure surpasses the level of 42.9 million that was recorded before the epidemic.

Over 6 million Turkish residents reside abroad, contributing to 52.74 million visitors in the first eleven months of this year.

The data showed that 2.5 million foreign tourists visited Türkiye in November, which was the first dip since the pandemic, and the decline was 1% on an annualized pace.

Even in November 2019, the number exceeded the 2.2 million recorded before the outbreak.

Türkiye relies heavily on tourism as a source of income, especially with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and his cabinet aiming to lower the current account deficit to combat persistent inflation.

As a result of last year’s remarkable recovery from the pandemic’s effects, the number of tourists reached near-record levels, leading to record-high profits and compelling the government to increase its yearly predictions. According to the government, sixty million people were expected to arrive this year.

Revenue from tourists reached $42 billion between January and September, up more than 20% year-over-year, according to official statistics.

As a result of travel restrictions imposed by Western nations in response to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, this year’s momentum has been driven by an inflow of holidaymakers from Europe, especially the United Kingdom and Germany, as well as arrivals from Russia.

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With nearly 6.1 million arrivals in the first eleven months, Russia surpassed all other nations, an increase of 4.9 million from the previous year. According to the numbers, Germany was behind with about 6 million, and the UK came in third with 3.7 million.

In November, out of all the international tourists, 9.72% were Russians (245,493), 244,005 were Bulgarians (222,884), 203,618 were Iranians, and 125,236 were Georgians.

Sixteen million people—or 34.4% of all international visitors—flew to Istanbul in just eleven months. Antalya, a world-renowned resort city, attracted 31% of all visitors, or 14.5 million people. Edirne came in second, with 4.4 million visitors or 9.3 per cent of the market.

With an 80.3% year-over-year growth and slightly less than the previous peak of 45.1 million in 2019, the number of tourists arriving between January and November exceeded that of the entire year 2022.

As the pandemic’s aftereffects faded and Russian tourists flocked to the country following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, income surged 53.4% to a record $46.3 billion.

Approximately 10% of Turkey’s GDP comes from the tourism industry. In addition, the hospitality and food service industries employed around 1.7 million people in 2022, making up nearly 5% of the overall labour force.

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