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The number of foreign visitors to İstanbul increased by 8.44% compared to the previous year.

According to the data from the Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism, İstanbul hosted 17,370,030 foreign visitors last year.

In 2023, the largest group of foreign visitors to İstanbul was from the Russian Federation, with 1,990,226 people, followed by Germany with 1,286,504 people, Iran with 1,053,638 people, and the United States with 853,766 people. The United Kingdom followed with 701,361 visitors, Saudi Arabia with 604,509 visitors, and France with 589,149 visitors.

İstanbul Airport: The top choice for foreign visitors

İstanbul Airport was the top choice for foreign visitors entering Istanbul in 2023.

71.78% of the foreigners who entered by air used İstanbul Airport last year, hosting 12,177,784 foreign visitors and becoming the most used entry point. Sabiha Gökçen Airport was the second choice, with 28.12% or 4,771,157 people preferring it.

The number of foreign visitors arriving in Istanbul by air in 2023 was 16,964,432.

The number of foreigners coming to Istanbul by sea last year was 405,598.

Achievement points

The remarkable surge in Istanbul's tourism visitors to 17,370,030 foreign guests in 2023 underscores the city's enduring appeal and its successful recovery and growth in the tourism sector. This achievement is significant for several reasons:

  1. Global Appeal: Istanbul's ability to attract over 17 million visitors highlights its status as a global tourism hotspot. The city's unique position, straddling two continents, its rich historical heritage, vibrant culture, and diverse culinary offerings continue to draw tourists from around the world.

  2. Economic Impact: The influx of tourists has substantial economic implications, benefiting hotels, restaurants, shops, and various service sectors. Tourism is a critical source of revenue and employment, contributing significantly to the local economy.

  3. Cultural Exchange: The diversity of visitors, coming from countries like Russia, Germany, Iran, the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and France, fosters cultural exchange and mutual understanding. Istanbul serves as a crossroads where different cultures and traditions meet and interact.

  4. Infrastructure and Services: The preference for Istanbul Airport, which welcomed over 12 million foreign visitors, along with substantial numbers opting for Sabiha Gökçen Airport and sea routes, indicates the city's robust infrastructure. Efficient transportation, accommodation options for various budgets, and tourist-friendly services play a crucial role in enhancing the visitor experience.

  5. Marketing and Promotion: The record-breaking visitor numbers also reflect effective marketing and promotional efforts by Istanbul and Turkey's tourism authorities. Engaging campaigns, participation in international tourism fairs, and leveraging digital platforms to showcase Istanbul's attractions have contributed to this success.

  6. Resilience and Recovery: The rebound and growth in tourism numbers are particularly noteworthy considering the challenges posed by global events such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Istanbul's tourism sector has shown resilience, adapting to changing conditions and ensuring visitor safety.

  7. Future Prospects: This milestone sets a positive tone for the future of tourism in Istanbul. It indicates potential for further growth and the need for sustainable tourism practices to preserve the city's heritage while accommodating increasing numbers of visitors.

Overall, the record number of tourists visiting Istanbul in 2023 is a testament to the city's allure, its significance as a cultural and economic hub, and the collective efforts of all stakeholders in the tourism industry to offer a memorable and enriching experience to visitors.

Editor: Haber Merkezi