The metropolis of Istanbul has played host to an impressive 5.8 million tourists in the first 9 months of 2021. This is higher than total numbers achieved in 2020, when the travel and tourism industry was struck a major blow from the Coronavirus pandemic that swept across the entire world.
Official data that has been released from the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism confirms that there have been almost 976,000 visitors to the country in September alone. When compared to the same time last year, this is a massive increase of 111%, with the data also confirming that tourist numbers have been on the rise every month since March.
Visitor Numbers and Transport
In September, just over 973,000 visitors flew into Istanbul with almost another 3,000 tourists arriving by sea, which shows an increase of 112% and 6% respectively when based on the same time last year.
Arrivals in Turkey
During September, approximately 1,300 tourists flew into Ataturk Airport which is usually closed to passenger air traffic. There were just under 285,000 tourists that flew into Sabiha Gokcen Airport, which is located on the Anatolian side of Istanbul and a further 687,171 tourists landing at Istanbul Airport on the European side. 70% of visitors showed a preference for flying into Istanbul Airport, with 29% choosing the Sabiha Gokcen Airport. The remaining 1% of visitors to Istanbul arrived via one of the many ports in the city.
Tourist nationalities in Turkey
The top number of tourists who came to Istanbul in September were the Iranians with a total of 105,958 visitors. This equates to just under 11% of the total number of visitors in September. The Iranians were followed by the Russian visitors who totalled 81,615, then came the Germans with 79,384 visitors, 53,953 tourists came from Iraq, 34,157 tourists arrived from France, the U.S was next in line with 33,198 visitors, and tourists from Ukraine amounted to 30,212.
These countries were then followed by Jordan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan, Libya, Egypt, the U.K, Lebanon, Morocco, Kazakhstan, Belgium, Tunisia, Sweden, Italy, Syria, Switzerland, and Spain.
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