The number of foreign visitors to Turkey jumped 19.4 percent in the first eight months of 2023, compared to the same period last year, reaching nearly 11 million, local media reported on Wednesday, citing data from the Culture and Tourism Ministry.
According to the data, Antalya hosted a total of 10,835,204 visitors in the first eight months, including 10,209,855 foreign tourists and 625,349 foreigners resident in Turkey.
In the ranking of countries that sent the most visitors to Antalya during this period, Russia took first place with 2,379,216 visitors and a 32.5 percent increase compared to a year earlier.
Turkey, which was already a popular holiday destination for Russians, has begun to be preferred by more Russians since the EU imposed restrictions on Russians traveling to Europe following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Obtaining visas for EU countries has become more expensive and less straightforward for Russians, while Russian air carriers have been banned from flying over or into the EU.
Germany ranked second with 2,108,816 visitors and a 17.34 percent increase, while the United Kingdom came in third with 922,560 visitors and a 14.58 percent increase. Poland followed closely in fourth place with 752,805 visitors and a 39.2 percent increase. Following Poland were the Netherlands, Kazakhstan and Romania.
Antalya, one of the world’s most significant tourism destinations, hosted a total of 10,035,458 visitors during the five-month period from April, marking the beginning of the tourism season, to August. Of these visitors 9,522,052 were foreign tourists, while 513,406 were foreigners resident in Turkey.
According to Statista, a German online platform specializing in data gathering and visualization, Turkey had tourism revenue of $46.4 billion in 2022.
Revenues in 2022 surged 53.4 percent from the previous year to a record high as the lingering effects of the pandemic disappeared and fallout from the Ukraine war drove an increase in Russian arrivals.