Tourist in Istanbul takes photos

Istanbul Shatters Tourism Records with Over 17 Million Foreign Visitors in 2023

In 2023, Istanbul, one of the world’s most visited cities, welcomed a record-breaking 17.37 million foreign visitors, marking an all-time high in its tourism history.

This figure represents an 8.44% increase from the previous year, showcasing Istanbul’s ever-growing appeal as a global tourist destination.

According to data from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the city’s unique blend of historical, cultural, and modern attractions continues to draw visitors from across the globe.

Leading the influx were tourists from the Russian Federation, with nearly 2 million visitors, making it the top country of origin. Germany and Iran followed, bringing in over 1.2 million and 1 million visitors, respectively, while the United States, the United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, and France also contributed significant numbers to Istanbul’s tourism boom.

The preferred gateway to this majestic city was Istanbul Airport, chosen by a staggering 71.78% of international visitors flying into the city. Istanbul Airport alone facilitated the entry of over 12 million foreign guests, asserting its position as the primary entry point. Sabiha Gökçen Airport served as the second major entry portal, accommodating nearly 4.8 million tourists.

The total number of foreign visitors arriving by air in 2023 reached nearly 17 million, highlighting the crucial role of air travel in boosting Istanbul’s tourism sector.

Additionally, the city saw over 405,000 visitors arriving by sea, further diversifying the modes of entry for international tourists exploring its rich cultural heritage and modern amenities.

Istanbul’s record-setting year in tourism is a testament to its enduring appeal and the successful efforts of local and national tourism bodies to promote the city as a top global destination.

The city’s unique position, straddling two continents, offers a blend of experiences that attract a diverse range of visitors, from those seeking historical and cultural immersion to those looking for modern luxury and entertainment.

As Istanbul continues to enhance its tourism infrastructure and offerings, including expanding its accommodation options, improving transportation links, and hosting international events, it is well-positioned to maintain its growth trajectory in the tourism sector.

The city’s success in attracting a record number of visitors in 2023 not only boosts its economy but also reaffirms its status as a must-visit global city, rich in history, culture, and contemporary attractions.

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