Istanbul sees 9.1 million tourists in 10 months


Around 9.1 million foreign tourists visited Istanbul in the first 10 months of the year, according to tourism statistics report from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

The ministry prepared a report for the January-October period in light of data obtained from Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports and the Haydarpaşa, Pendik, Tuzla, Zeytinburnu, Ambarlı and Karaköy ports.

According to a report compiled by Anadolu Agency (AA), about 9.1 million foreign visitors came to Istanbul in the first 10 months of the year. Compared to the same period of last year, which reached about 7.9 million foreign visitors, the number of tourists coming to Istanbul increased by 16 percent.

In October, 1.1 million foreign visitors visited Istanbul, compared to the same period last year, a 42 percent increase compared to the same period last year when 790,951 foreign visitors arrived in Istanbul in October.

In the report, the number of foreign visitors arriving in Istanbul in January-October exceeded the figures in 2016, while the numbers approached 10.8 million, recorded in the same period of 2015.

According to the statistics, passengers carried by airlines increased by 16.4 percent in January-October last year, while arrivals by sea decreased by 52.7 percent. In 2016, 7.8 million foreign tourists come to Istanbul by air, while in 2017 this figure increased to 9 million. Arrivals by sea, on the other hand, dropped from 51,912 to about 24,567 compared to the previous year.

7 million tourists arrived from the Atatürk Airport, which welcomed the largest number of foreign passengers in Istanbul. From Sabiha Gökçen Airport, on the other hand, 1.9 million foreign visitors entered Istanbul.

With regards to the distribution of foreign guests according to nationalities in the 10 months of this year, Germans led the way with 862,453 visitors to Istanbul, 9.5 percent of total foreign travelers, but a drop of 2.7 percent compared to 2016 when 886,329 German visitors arrived.

Other countries sending the largest number of tourists to Istanbul were Iran with 734,739 visitors, Saudi Arabia with 505,487, Iraq with 454,872 and Russia with 407,771, followed by the United Kingdom with 325,122 people, France with 317,416 and the United States with 248,274.

The number of tourists from Russia increased by 64.6 percent compared to the same period last year when 247,743 visitors arrived in the January-October period.

Meanwhile, the number of Chinese tourists, who ranked 15th with 173,003 people, showed a 35.3 percent increase compared to 127,906 tourists arriving last year.

The report also includes statistics on foreign visitors from Arab countries to Istanbul during the last three years.

In the January-October periods of 2015 and 2016, 2.2 million and 1.7 million visitors came from Arab countries, respectively. In 2017, this figure was 2.3 million. Visitors from Arab countries to Istanbul experienced a 35 percent increase compared to last year.

Arab countries constituted 24.9 percent of the total number of visitors.

In the meantime, according to accommodation facility data in the report, Istanbul has 540 facilities with a total bed capacity of 108,446 certified by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. In addition, construction continues on 190 accommodation facilities with a total 36,108 bed-capacity and "investment certificate" from the ministry. There are food, beverage and entertainment facilities in Istanbul with a total capacity of 115,513 people, while 31,577 of this capacity relates to sea vessels certified as "floating restaurants," "day trip boats" and "commercial yachts.

The report also indicates that the total capacity of ongoing food, beverage and entertainment facilities is 7,246 people.

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