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Turkey receives 33.5 mln visitors in 10 months

The number of foreign visitors to Turkey in the first 10 months of the year totaled 33.53 million, up 5.57 percent compared to the same period last year, government data showed on Tuesday.

Foreign visitors to Turkey rose 1.09 percent year-on-year in October, to 3.44 million people, Tourism Ministry data revealed on Tuesday. Based on the distribution by country of origin for the tourists coming to Turkey, according to the ministry report there has been great interest in Turkey from Germany since the beginning of this year. Germans constituted 14.36 percent of the inbound tourists to Turkey with 4.81 million visitors in the first nine months of 2014. Russia was next with 4.36 million visitors, and the UK followed with 2.5 million people in the given period.

The most preferred destinations by foreign visitors to Turkey are the provinces of Antalya, İstanbul and Muğla, respectively. While 11.1 million of these visitors came to spend their holiday in Antalya between January and October, 10.1 million visited İstanbul and 3.13 million visited Muğla. The western city of Edirne, neighboring Bulgaria, came in fourth and Artvin, close to Georgia, was the fifth.

A total of 34.9 million tourists visited Turkey in 2013, a 9.84 increase compared to 2012. Turkey expects that inbound tourism figures may well reach beyond 40 or even 50 million over the next few years, but the question is whether such a high number will be sustainable from both an environmental and a business management perspective. Turkey’s tourism revenues rose 2.1 billion in the first nine months year-on-year to $26.63 billion, the Turkish Statistics Institute (TurkStat) said earlier in October. Tourism revenues constitute one of the most important contributors to the fight against Turkey’s current account deficit, its main economic weakness.