Turkey welcomed about 11.2 million foreign visitors in the first 10 months of 2020, the country’s Culture and Tourism Ministry announced on Monday.
During the pandemic-related lockdown and travel restrictions worldwide, the number of foreigners visiting the country nosedived by about 72.5% on an annual basis, according to figures provided by the Ministry.
While Turkey hosted approximately 5.7 million foreign visitors in the last three months from August to October, the figure was estimated at around 50,000 during April and May, when the pandemic peaked in Turkey.
For 10 months, Istanbul remained Turkey’s top tourist destination, attracting 37.09% of all visitors – which translates to roughly 4.15 million.
The Mediterranean resort of Antalya followed with 27.67% -or more than 3.1 million foreign visitors- during the same period, while the northwestern province of Edirne, bordering Bulgaria and Greece, recorded the third highest rate with 13.47 %.
About 8.5 million visitors came to Turkey by air, while 2.5 million chose motorways, 148,550 arrived by sea and 162,188 by train.
Russians account for around 17.06% or almost 1.91 million visitors, followed by Germans with 9.26% (1.03 million visitors) and Bulgarians at approximately 8.91% (997,470).
In October, the country saw 1.74 million foreign visitors, a 59.40% drop YoY.
In 2019, more than 45 million foreigners entered the country, compared to 2018’s almost 39.5 million. /ibna