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Turkey’s tourism beats pre-Covid levels as January arrivals up 57%

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The number of properties purchased by foreigners fell by 38% year-on-year to 16,779 units in first five months of 2023

Tourist arrivals in Turkey have crossed pre-Covid levels in the first month of 2023, a local daily reported.

The number of foreign visitors arriving in January jumped 56.51 percent from a year earlier to two million, Daily Sabah newspaper said, citing the Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Foreign visitors reached 1.28 million in January 2022, compared to 509,787 in January 2021 and 1.8 million in 2020.

Russians, Bulgarians and Germans were among the most popular nationalities to visit list last month.

Russians topped the list with over 279,818 arrivals, double compared to a year ago. Bulgaria followed with 167,138 visitors, up 52 percent year-over-year; Germany increased 36.4 percent to 139,955; and Georgia surged 190.4 to 114,508.

Istanbul welcomed 59.3 percent of all foreign visitors, or 1.19 million, the newspaper said.

Edirne province, on the northwestern border with Bulgaria and Greece, ranked second with a 12.1 percent share (242,615 visitors). The resort city of Antalya came third with 9.1 percent, or more than 183,338 tourists.

Foreign visitors surged 80.33 percent year-over-year to 44.6 million in 2022, missing the peak of 45.1 million in 2019. 

Tourism revenue rose 53.4 percent to $46.3 billion last year, up from $30.2 billion in 2021 and $14.8 billion in 2020.

Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said foreign arrivals are expected to reach 60 million in 2023 before hitting 90 million in 2028.

The government expects revenues to rise to $56 billion this year and $100 billion by 2028, the report said.

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