Turkey's biggest city Istanbul welcomed 11.3 million foreign tourists in the first nine months of this year, Istanbul Governor Ali Yerlikaya announced Saturday.
"Istanbul is reaching its 2023 tourism targets by breaking its own records," Yerlikaya said on his official Twitter account.
The number of foreign visitors between the months of January and September increased by 12% compared to the same period in 2018. German tourists topped the list with 858,000 visitors, marking a five percent increase. followed by Iranians with 687,000, Iraqis with 545.000 and, Russians in fourth place with 512,000.
The number of Chinese and Kuwaiti tourists increased significantly, recording 11% and 30.7% increases respectively. Arrivals to Istanbul from Arab countries overall increased by 12%. Of all the tourists coming to the metropolis, 25.8% came from Arab countries, amounting to 2.9 million tourists.
Hotel occupancy rates in Istanbul also increased by 4% to 74.5% compared to the previous year. The average daily room price increased by 10.8% to 91.1 euros ($102). The income per room rose by 15.4% to 67.9 euros ($76).