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Tourism up 128% in Turkey with travelers from Germany, Russia

Turkey's foreign visitors are up despite concern that the Russian invasion of Ukraine would hurt its tourism industry this year.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images

International tourist arrivals to Turkey have increased significantly this year. 

More than 23 million foreigners visited Turkey from January through July of 2022, already a 128% increase from the more than 10 million in the entirety of 2021, the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism said in a data release Monday. 

Germany has had the highest number of visitors this year with 2.9 million, followed by Russia with 2.1 million. Iran also cracked the top five with 1.2 million people, according to the ministry. 

Why it matters: Turkey’s tourism industry was concerned earlier this year that travel from Russia and Ukraine would plummet due to Russia’s invasion. Turkey sought to bridge the gap by enticing tourists from the Middle East, particularly Egypt. 

Clearly, Russians are still making it to Turkey, though the number could be on the decline. Around 741,000 people from the Russian Federation came to Turkey in July of 2022, compared to roughly 807,000 in July of last year. The number of visitors from Russia to Turkey is still up overall in 2022: 2.2 million from January-July 2022 compared to 1.6 million from January-July 2021, per the ministry’s data. 

Tourism from war-torn Ukraine is way down, though. Around 374,000 people visited Turkey from Ukraine in January-July of 2022. During the same period last year, more than 1.1 million came. 

Know more: Tourism is a major part of the Turkish economy. Earlier this year, the London-based World Travel & Tourism Council predicted that the sector will constitute 11% of Turkey’s GDP by 2032. 

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