Istanbul aims to draw 20 million visitors this year

Istanbul, Türkiye’s cultural, financial and commercial capital, is hoping to welcome a total of 20 million visitors this year.

Last year, the megacity welcomed 17.4 million foreign tourists, up from more than 16 million visitors in 2022.

In the first five months of 2024, some 7 million international holidaymakers visited the city, which marked an all-time-high figure for this period. The number of foreign tourist arrivals in Istanbul rose 10.3 percent from January-May 2023.

In May alone, 1.68 million foreign tourists visited the city, up nearly 12 percent year-on-year.

One significant development is the increase of American tourists vacationing in Istanbul. The latest data showed that more than 300,000 American travelers visited the city, which was mainly due to the more flights Turkish Airlines launched between the two countries. The flag carrier currently has direct flights to 14 cities in the United States.

In May, Americans claimed the third spot on the list of foreign visitors, after Russians and Germans.

Russians constituted the largest group of foreign tourists with a 10.5 percent share in total, while Germans captured the second spot with 8.4 percent.

Iranians (5 percent), Britons (4.8 percent), French (3.9 percent) and Saudis (3.4 percent) were other large groups of foreign visitors.

The outlook has been promising in terms of foreign visitors since May,said Müberra Eresin, the president of the Hotel Association of Türkiye (TÜROB), adding that the occupancy rate at the city’s hotels is expected to be around 60 to 65 percent in June.

More and more tourists from the U.S., Germany, the U.K. and Italy are visiting the city, according to Eresin.

Source: hurriyetdailynews

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