Antalya has seen more than 10 million foreign tourists landing at its airport so far this year as Türkiye’s famed Mediterranean resort city enjoys its most buoyant summer since the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
The number of foreigners coming to the southern province by air has reached nearly 10.1 million from Jan. 1 through Sept. 15, its Governor Ersin Yazıcı said. The figure marks a 64% year-over-year increase versus 6.15 million who landed in the city a year ago.
“These figures include the number of foreigners arriving by air, not those arriving by land. We estimate that we will reach a figure between 12 million and 13 million by the end of the year,” Yazıcı told Anadolu Agency (AA).
The resort already well topped the 9 million who arrived throughout the whole of 2021. This figure peaked in 2019, dubbed the best tourism season ever, when arrivals reached 16 million, before the slump caused by the pandemic.
Arrivals in the first half of September also jumped 18% year-over-year to more than a million, Yazıcı said.
The big rebound this year has been driven by flocks of tourists from Europe, particularly Germany and the United Kingdom, in addition to arrivals from Russia, whose invasion of Ukraine had sparked fears across the vital industry.
Yazıcı confirmed top tourist sources were Germany, Russia and Britain. “I believe much more tourists will prefer Antalya next year,” he noted.
Antalya is distinguished with its five-star hotels that combine thematic architecture and luxury along with stunning natural and historical beauties.
Türkiye has attracted over 23 million foreign visitors from January through July, surging 128% annually, according to the official data, paving the way for $37 billion in tourism revenues sought by the government.
The arrivals have been mainly backed by Russian visitors who opted for Türkiye due to Western flight restrictions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The numbers of German and British visitors also rose strongly.
From January through July, Germans were Türkiye’s top source market with 2.99 million visitors, followed by 2.2 million Russians and 1.8 million Britons, according to the Culture and Tourism Ministry data.
Despite concerns over the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the government raised its year-end targets last month to 47 million tourists and $37 billion in revenues, up from its earlier targets of 45 million arrivals and $35 billion in income.
Backed by the easing COVID-19 measures, the number of foreign visitors soared 94.1% to 24.71 million last year. Tourism revenues doubled to almost $25 billion but remained well below the level recorded in 2019.
Russians and Ukrainians were the country’s first and third biggest sources of visitors, respectively. Russians accounted for 19% of foreign tourists, with 4.7 million people, while Ukraine was the third-largest at 8.3%, with 2.1 million people.
Officials had hoped tourism this year could replicate or exceed the numbers from 2019 when some 52 million visitors – including about 7 million Russians and 1.6 million Ukrainians – brought in $34 billion in revenue.