ANKARA, Turkey – The number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 5.07 percent in the first four months of this year over the same period in 2013 to 7.03 million, according to data released on Monday by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism.
The ministry issued a report on Monday with details about foreign visitors to the country in the first four months of 2014 and for just the month of April.
A total of 2.6 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in April, representing an increase of 8.2 percent year-on-year.
The most frequently used entry points for foreign visitors to Turkey during the first four months of this year were the İstanbul airports, with 3.2 million visitors; followed by the airport in Antalya, with 1.3 million visitors. The land border crossings in Edirne at the Bulgarian border saw 727,694 visitors, the far northeastern province of Artvin that borders Georgia had 474,488 entries and the western province of İzmir recorded 185,162 for the four-month period.
The same data also showed that 104,895 visitors in April, or 3.96 percent of all foreign tourists, were day trippers.
Tourists from Germany made up 15.9 percent of all foreign tourists visiting Turkey in April, and Russian tourists were the second largest group according to nationality at 8.14 percent, followed by the visitors from the United Kingdom at 5.6 percent.
Over the course of the first four months of the year, 12 percent of tourists were from Germany, or 887,623 visitors. Iranians were the next largest group by nationality at 7.18 percent, and 6.6 percent of all the tourists were from Georgia.
The city that attracted the most visitors in April was İstanbul, with 1,015,000 tourists, followed by Antalya with 796,000 and Edirne with 233,000 visitors for the month.
Culture and Tourism Minister Ömer Çelik said in a post on his Twitter account that the statistics show that Turkey is becoming a top country in the tourism sector.
“Our country is consolidating its position every day in the tourism champions’ league with its rich touristic destinations,” said the minister’s tweet.
In 2013, 34.9 million foreign nationals visited Turkey, a sharp increase of nearly 10 percent compared to 2012.