Every year, the draw of Turkey, with a history spanning back thousands of years and to numerous civilizations, continues to increase. With its historical palaces, mosques, and uniquely exquisite Bosphorus Strait, museums, archeological excavations, natural beauty and alternative tourism options, when it come to tourism, Turkey continues to be in increasing demand. Turkey has already surpassed nations such as Egypt, Tunisia and Greece in terms of numbers of visitors, and is now competing with the likes of Italy, France and Spain. With tourist numbers reaching 30 million a year, Turkey is fast becoming one of the world's leading tourism nations in the sector.
ISTANBUL HOSTED ONE OUT OF EVERY THREE TOURISTS
According to information from the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, in the first six months of the year, a total 12,723,978 tourists visited Turkey. Out of that figure, 4,231,836 visitors came to Istanbul, which means the metropolis hosted one out of every three tourist to arrive in Turkey. The distribution of tourists who came to Turkey in the first six months of the year is as follows: In January, 981,611, in February 997,571, in March 1,460,563, in April 2,168,715, in May 3,232,926 and in June 3,882,592. Compared to figures from the year prior, the number of tourists that visited Turkey in the first six months of the year dropped by 2.33 percent reaching a total 12,723,978 visitors. Last year, 13,027,494 tourists visited Turkey in the first six months of the year. Out of the total number of tourists that arrived to Turkey, 633,025 came on day trips. The majority of tourists who visited during the six month period between Januarys to June, entered Turkey from Istanbul, Antalya and Edirne. In January, Istanbul hosted 451,702 visitors, in February, 494,158 visitors, in March 659,881 visitor, in April 818,868 visitors, in May 1,492,881 visitors, totaling 4,231,836 visitors.
MOST TOURISTS CAME FROM GERMANY
The highest number of visitors to Turkey during the first half of the year were from Germany, at 1,924,108. Russia followed with 1,429,959, England came in third with 895,358, Bulgaria was in fourth with 646,912 visitors and Georgia came in fifth with 589,939 tourists.
Visitors during these months, 9,320,886 visitors came to Turkey by plane, 2,606,079 came by highway, 13,380 came by railway while 783,633 tourists came by sea. During the first six months of the year, a total 1,021,676 tourists came from Algeria, Morocco, Libya, Sudan, Egypt, Tunisia, UAE, Bahrain, Qatar, Iraq, Kuwait, , Lebanon, Jordan, Saud Arabia, Syria and Yemen. Last year, a total 31,456,076 visitors came to Turkey, while in 2010, there were 28,632,204 tourists.