In Turkey overall, there were 981,611 visitors in January and 997,571 visitors in February. Accordingly, 47.8 percent of visitors to Turkey spent time in Istanbul.
From the tourists that came to Istanbul, 1,593,292 chose to fly while 12,320 preferred to arrive by sea. Compared to figures from the first three months last year, the numbers of travelers via air increased by 18 percent while the percentage of travelers that came via sea decreased by 13 percent.
In the first three month period of this year, 7,203 tourists entered the Karaköy Port for a day trip, while 14 percent of visitors arrived to the Sabiha Gökçen Airport.
GERMANS PREFER ISTANBUL
Upon analysis of the nationalities that tend to visit the city, German's took the top spot with 10.4 percent. In second after Germans were Russians with seven percent. Iran followed in third with 5.2 percent, followed by Brits at 4.4 percent and Americans at 4.1 percent, followed by France at four percent, Italians at 3.6 percent, the Dutch and Libyans both at 2.8 percent, Ukrainians at 2.6 percent, Japanese at 2.5 percent Azeri's at 2.3 percent, Iraqi's at 2.1 percent, South Koreans at two percent followed by Kazakhs at 1.9 percent.
In the first three months of the year, there was one visitor each from Burma, the Faroe Islands, Belize, the Gilbert Islands, Greenland, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Virgin Islands and Zaire.
In comparison to the first three months of last year, there was a drop this year in visitors from Japan, Spain, Italy and Israel. There was an increase however in visitors from Germany, Iran, Holland, Ukraine, Azerbaijan, South Korea, Austria, Switzerland and Turkmenistan.
The number of tourists visiting Turkey increased due to the events which transpired in Tunisia, Iraq, Libya and Egypt.
CONSTRUCTION OF 104 FACILITIES ONGOING
In the city, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has 770 accommodation facilities and 392 operating facilities, totaling 1,162 accommodations with an overall 113,432 bed capacity.
Meanwhile, 104 facilities which will belong to the Miistry of Culture and Tourism are currently under construction, 23 of which will be on the Asian side, and 81 of which are on European side of Istanbul. In addition, construction is ongoing in Istanbul for seven private facilities, six boutique hotels, 29 five-star hotels, 17 four-star hotels, 12 three-star hotels, four two-star hotels and two bed and breakfasts. While the city currently offers food, drink and accommodation facilities for 89,002 people, construction is ongoing for an additional 4,343 capacity.
According to Istanbul's Culture and Tourism Director Ahmet Emre Bilgili, figures from the first three months of this year show a 17.5 percent growth which is especially significant due to the fact that the effects of the global crisis are still evident in the tourism sector.
"The fact that Istanbul is a leading cultural, arts, history, archeology and tourism capital, and is engrained in the mind as being a site which has determined civilizations, coupled by the fact that its diversified tourism options such as, congress, gastronomy and shopping tours as well as the price quality advantage all play important roles."