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Russian Tourist Flow to Turkey in May Overtook Germany

Russian tourists in Turkey

The Ministry of Culture and Tourism of Turkey has released statistics on foreign tourist visits in May 2023, revealing a positive trend in Russian tourist flow compared to the previous year. However, when compared to the pre-pandemic levels of 2019, there is still a significant decline of one-third.

In May 2023, Turkey welcomed a total of 4,500,242 foreign tourists, with Russia leading the way in terms of tourist arrivals. A total of 640,844 Russian citizens visited the country in May, followed closely by Germany with 617,617 trips and Great Britain with 452,724.

The Russian tourist flow to Turkey in May 2023 showed a substantial increase of 77.5% compared to the challenging circumstances of May 2022 when there were limited flights due to air sanctions. However, when compared to the pre-pandemic levels of May 2019, there is still a significant drop of 33.5%.



Analyzing the distribution of tourist traffic across regions in Turkey, the Russian tourist flow to Antalya in May reached 389,805 tourists, indicating a 73.8% increase compared to May 2022. However, in comparison to the pre-COVID May of 2019, the tourist flow to Antalya is still 51.6% lower.

In Istanbul, the Russian tourist flow in May amounted to 175,466 trips, nearly doubling compared to May 2022. This represents a record high for the city, although it is important to note that a significant portion of these tourists use Istanbul as a transit point before traveling to other destinations.



The resort province of Mugla on the Aegean coast saw 40,011 Russian tourists in May, showing a 77.4% increase compared to the previous year. However, when compared to May 2019, there is a significant decline of 54.3% due to limited air transportation options.

In contrast, the lesser-known resort province of Izmir on the Aegean coast experienced a remarkable increase in Russian tourist arrivals, with 12,241 visitors in May. This represents a substantial growth of 612% compared to the previous year and a 73.3% increase compared to May 2019.

Furthermore, there were 23,321 Russian arrivals in Turkey through other checkpoints, such as Mersin, Adana, seaports on the Black Sea coast, and the land border with Georgia.

While the May 2023 statistics indicate a positive recovery for tourism in Turkey, the industry still faces challenges in returning to pre-pandemic levels. The increase in Russian tourist flow is promising, but overall numbers remain significantly lower compared to 2019. The Turkish tourism sector will continue to adapt and implement strategies to attract more visitors from around the world.


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