Skip to content

Türkiye welcomes nearly 18M visitors in first 5 months of 2024

Türkiye welcomes nearly 18M visitors in first 5 months of 2024 Tourists flock to Antalya, Türkiye's second most-visited city, for its beaches and ruins, in Antalya, Türkiye (Photo by Euronews)
By Newsroom
Jun 26, 2024 10:52 AM

Türkiye hosted 17.81 million visitors between January and May this year, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism’s latest statistics.

The number of foreign visitors surged by 12.47% year-on-year to 15.78 million.

German citizens lead in visitors

Germany led the ranking of countries sending the most visitors to Türkiye during these five months, with a 16.2% increase and 1.12 million visitors. Russia followed closely in second place with 1.08 million visitors. Iran showed a remarkable increase of 51.78% with 946,437 visitors, securing third place. Bulgaria and the United Kingdom followed these countries.

In May alone, Türkiye welcomed 5.13 million foreign visitors, marking a 14% increase compared to the same month last year.

Russia topped the list of countries sending the most visitors in May, with a 15.32% increase and 739,017 visitors. Germany followed with an 18.12% increase and 729,505 visitors, while the United Kingdom ranked third with a 21.62% increase and 550,592 visitors. Bulgaria and Poland were next in line.

These figures highlight Türkiye’s continued appeal as a tourist destination, despite global challenges, and reflect positive growth in international tourism.

Türkiye welcomes nearly 18M visitors in first 5 months of 2024
The gate of Salutation in Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Türkiye.

Istanbul tourism sets record in first half of the year

Istanbul, one of the leading centers of global tourism, showed an impressive performance in the first five months of the year. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism data, Istanbul hosted 6.92 million foreign visitors in the first five months, marking a 10.31% increase year-on-year. Particularly in May, the city saw a rise of 11.48%, welcoming 1.68 million foreign visitors.

In May, Russia led the rankings of countries sending the most visitors to Istanbul. Germany, the U.S., Iran, the U.K., and France also contributed significantly to visitor numbers.

The majority of foreign visitors arriving in Istanbul in May chose Istanbul Airport as their entry point, accounting for 72.85% of arrivals.

According to April’s accommodation statistics, the occupancy rate of hotels in Istanbul was recorded at 51.47%. Certified establishments saw a total of 2.5 million overnight stays.

Türkiye welcomes nearly 18M visitors in first 5 months of 2024
Endemic water lilies in Golcuk Nature Park and Abant Lake National Park, Kocaeli and Bolu respectively, Türkiye, June 17, 2024. (AA Photo)

Protected areas: High interest during holiday season

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Ibrahim Yumakli emphasized the notable interest in Türkiye’s protected areas during the nine-day Eid al-Adha holiday period, with a total of 5.34 million visitors recorded.

Ayvalik Islands Nature Park was the most visited protected area during the Eid al-Adha holiday period. Beydaglari Coastal National Park, Marmaris National Park, Ormanya Nature Park, and Beysehir Lake National Park also attracted many visitors.

Cappadocia: Where natural and cultural riches meet

Cappadocia, renowned for its natural and cultural treasures in Nevsehir, welcomed 1.66 million tourists in the first five months of the year.

The region, particularly famous for its hot air balloon tours, hosted 185,443 participants in balloon tours during this period.

Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cappadocia continues to attract growing interest in hot-air balloon tourism. Tourists enjoy breathtaking views over valleys adorned with fairy chimneys and natural rock formations.

Türkiye’s tourism potential

Türkiye’s tourism potential originates from rich cultural heritage, diverse natural landscapes, and strategic geographical location. Here’s how these factors contribute:

  • Cultural Heritage: Türkiye boasts a wealth of historical and cultural sites dating back thousands of years. From ancient ruins like Ephesus and Troy to iconic landmarks such as the Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, these attractions draw history enthusiasts and cultural tourists from around the globe.
  • Natural landscapes: The country offers diverse natural beauty, including pristine beaches along the Mediterranean and Aegean coasts, scenic landscapes in Cappadocia with its unique rock formations, and lush greenery in the Black Sea region. These natural wonders cater to tourists seeking relaxation, adventure, and outdoor activities.
  • Geographical location: Situated at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, Türkiye benefits from its strategic location, making it easily accessible from major global markets. This proximity enhances its appeal as a travel destination for international tourists, offering a blend of Eastern and Western influences.
  • Hospitality and infrastructure: Türkiye’s tourism infrastructure is well-developed, with modern accommodations, transportation networks, and tourist services catering to a wide range of preferences and budgets. Turkish hospitality, renowned for its warmth and generosity, further enhances the overall tourist experience.
  • Culinary delights: Turkish cuisine is celebrated worldwide for its diversity and flavors, from kebabs and mezes to traditional sweets like baklava. Food tourism is increasingly popular, with visitors enjoying culinary tours and sampling authentic Turkish dishes.

Overall, Türkiye offers an enriching and memorable experience for visitors from all corners of the globe.

Last Updated:  Jun 27, 2024 10:58 AM