December 19, 2011

Istanbul Receives 16% More Tourists in First 11 Months


The number of tourists visiting Istanbul from January through November of 2011 has increased by 16 percent compared to the same period one year ago, according to official figures.

Istanbul Provincial Culture and Tourism Directorate figures for 2011 reveal that Istanbul attracted 7,509,000 foreigner tourists from January through November. This number was 6,489,000 in the first 11 months of 2010.

In the first 11 months of 2011, 6,959,291 tourists arrived in Istanbul via the city's Atatürk and Sabiha Gökçen airports, while 550,046 tourists arrived via the ports of Haydarpaşa, Pendik and Karaköy.

The port used most by tourists is Karaköy, which received 460,855 tourists in the first 11 months.

Istanbul received the highest number of tourists in July -- 916,486, whereas January saw the least number of tourist -- 378,380.

Germans made up the largest number of foreign tourists visiting the city, with 12.3 percent of the total number of tourists. Russia and the US ranked second and third, with respectively 6.1 and 5.6 percent of the total. Italian, French, English and Iranian nations followed on the list, respectively.

The number of Arab tourists visiting İstanbul rose by 28.5 compared to 2010. The Arab tourists accounted for 11.1 percent of the tourists coming to İstanbul.

Saudi Arabia is the country from which citizens coming to Turkey increased the most with an increase of 71.3 percent of the total. Iraq followed Saudi Arabia with 64.7 percent, and Kuwait followed Iraq at 40 percent.

Arab interest in Turkish culture -- from TV soap operas, pop music and food to Turkey's rehabilitation of its Ottoman history -- has helped bring in an influx of Arab tourists to Turkey in recent years.

Read more on Zaman: Istanbul Receives 16 Percent More Tourists in First 11 Months

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