May 21, 2023

The Turkish city’s streets are filled with foreign tourists, who flock mostly for shopping and health tourism, in a boost to a vital industry that appears to have weathered the recession of the 2020-21 pandemic, despite the fallout from the war in Ukraine.

Tourists from the Middle East and the Gulf dominate the rest of the foreign arrivals to Istanbul in the context of April rates, as the number of foreigners in Istanbul increased by 135% on an annual basis to nearly 4 million, compared to about 4.4 million before the outbreak of the Corona virus.

Mebara Erisin, President of the Hotel Association of Turkey, confirmed that arrivals from Europe and the Americas are increasing, but the industry still has to do more to ensure market diversification.

The total number of foreigners who visited Turkey in the first four months jumped by 172.5% from last year, to nearly 7.47 million according to official data, compared to 2.74 million in 2021.

Noting that the epidemic has mostly been bypassed, and the industry is on the way to a full recovery, Erissen indicated that 2022 will be much better than 2021.

She told the local media that 2023 will be better as the country’s expectations increase in the following years, with tourism revenues rising to unprecedented levels, and Istanbul becoming one of the first 3 shining destinations in the world again.

Erisen hopes that the number of tourists will reach 42 million tourists and the sector’s revenues will reach $35 billion this year, after tourism in 2019 achieved numbers that reached 53 million tourists and revenues amounting to $34.5 billion. Istanbul is known as a destination where Europe meets Asia and has always captivated visitors with its culture and art. And its history, is witnessing a significant increase in the number of foreigners arriving for shopping and health tourism.

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