(Istanbul-NewsHalal-Rabi I, 12, 1439H) The Culture and Tourism Ministry in Turkey announced that around 29 million people visited Turkey in the first 10 months of the year 2017, an increase of 28 percent compared to 22.7 million in the same period last year. The holiday resort city of Antalya, on the Mediterranean coast, recorded the highest number of visitors with 9.25 million. Istanbul, the country’s largest city by population and one of the top tourism destinations, was second among all cities with border gates, with around 9 million visitors from abroad.
According to report published by Daily Sabah, Russian tourists made their way to Turkey the most, constituting 15.7 percent – some 4.5 million visitors, according to statistics on foreign visitors’ nationalities, followed by Germans at 11.5 percent and Iranians at 7.3 percent.
Official data also showed that flying was the most preferred for of transportation, with 21.4 million travelers, while 6.9 million and around 700,000 visitors came by land and sea routes, respectively.
The ministry figures show a gradual recovery came after the lifting of the ban on tourist flights from Russia and overcoming terrorist attacks. Last year, 25.3 million foreigners entered the country while the number of arriving foreigners was 36.2 million in 2015.
Antalya, which sees more than 10 million tourists a year, is among the favorite residential centers for foreigners. In the city of 60,534 inhabitants from more than 100 countries, Russians leads the way at 9,035, Dogan News Agency (DHA) reported yesterday.
In Turkey, which has 816,410 foreign residents, Antalya is among the provinces that have the largest number of foreign residents.
According to results of address-based population registrations (ADNKS), 60,534 foreign nationals lived in Antalya as of the end of 2016. Many foreigners from more than 100 countries who live in Antalya work in business in various fields, mainly tourism. A significant amount of foreign residents in Antalya are retired seniors.
Russians constitute the highest percentage of foreigners in Antalya at 9,035, followed by Germans with 8,653 people, Kazakhs with 5,628, Ukrainians with 5,318 and Kyrgyz with 4,975. Nationalities with more than 1,000 people living in Antalya are Azerbaijanis with 2,868, Iranians with 2,413, Iraqis with 1,946, Georgians with 1,625, Uzbeks with 1,561, Britons with 1,511 and Dutch with 1,292 people.
While halal tourism is rapidly growing and due to Islamophobea more Muslim tourists are avoiding to travel United States and Europe, Turkey is expected to gain much larger number of tourists from Islamic countries.