Turkey attracted 22 million foreign visitors in the first eight months of 2012 – a jump of over half a million on last year’s numbers, according to the Istanbul 2020 bid.
Istanbul is currently bidding to host the 2020 Summer Olympics, and Hasan Arat, head of the bid, believes the visitor figures prove that Turkey has a lot to offer.
“These figures highlight that more and more tourists are being attracted to Turkey’s vibrant culture, rich history, hospitable people and spectacular location which bridges Europe and Asia,” he said.
“Turkey’s tourist infrastructure has grown significantly, increasing by 67 per cent in the last ten years. By 2015, Turkey’s hotels will offer 370,000 rooms for a wide variety of budgets – and this diversity of hotel accommodation is replicated in Istanbul.”
Istanbul was recently ranked the fifth most visited destination on the globe, according to the MasterCard Global Destination Cities Index survey. Over 11 million foreign visitors are expected to visit the city this year, with many travelling from UK airports such as Stansted and Luton.
The same survey ranks Turkey’s largest city third in Europe behind London and Paris showing a 14.7% growth in visitors since the same time last year. Tourism in Turkey is expected to gather even more pace next year, attracting 33 million visitors.
Copyright Press Association 2012