Record 51 million tourists visited Turkey in 2019, official data shows

World Faizah Kamal 01-Feb-2020
Turkey
ID 167106372 © Engdao Wichitpunya | Dreamstime.com

Turkey attracted a record 51.9 million visitors in 2019, according to official data.

On January 31, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TÜİK) announced that the country welcomed 51.9 million visitors last year, showing a rise of 13.7 percent from the previous year.

TÜİK data showed that 86.2 percent of visitors were foreigners and the remaining 13.8 percent were Turkish citizens residing overseas.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry also announced that visits by foreigners to Turkey surged 14.1 percent on an annual basis, surpassing 45 million last year.

Istanbul, the country’s world-famous touristic city, was the top arriving destination with nearly 15 million tourists, accounting for 33 percent of all foreign visitors in 2019.

The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed it with 14.65 million foreign visitors last year.

The third top arriving destination was the northwestern province of Edirne which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, welcoming some 4.3 million foreigners.

As for the nationalities of foreign visitors, Russia took first place with 15.6 percent – some 7 million visitors – over the same period, followed by Germany (11.2 percent, or 5 million) and Bulgaria (6 percent, or 2.7 million).

Turkey’s tourism revenues also hit $34.5 billion in 2019, a new record high, according to statistical data.

The figure jumped 17 percent last year, up from $29.5 billion in 2018, TÜİK said.

Meanwhile, the average expenditure per capita stood at $666 in 2019, up from $647 a year ago.

Data showed that visitors spent the most on food and beverages (nearly $1.1 billion) and accommodation ($1 billion) last year.