Nearly 7 million tourists visited Istanbul in the first 10 months of the year, while foreign tourist arrivals in the city leaped almost 116 percent in October from a year ago.
Turkey’s cultural, commercial and financial capital welcomed 1.15 million visitors in October,which marked the highest number of international holidaymakers visiting the city on record this year.
More than 100,000 Iranian nationals vacationed in the city in the month, topping the list of visitors and accounting for 8.9 percent of all foreign visitors, followed by Russians at 101,000 people and Germans at more 98,000, according to data from the Istanbul Directorate of Culture and Tourism.
In October, nearly 50,000 French nationals and a little over 46,0000 Britons visited the city,while more than 34,000 tourists from the U.S. spent their holiday in Istanbul.
The megacity also welcomed one tourist each from Macao and Laos.
The authority reported that the number of tourists from Arab countries soared nearly 134 percent on an annual basis to hit 238,942 people in October, with Iraqis claiming the top spot at some 37,000.
Istanbul made a rather poor start into the year in terms of international tourism activity. In January and February, the number of visitors declined 67 percent and 64 percent from the same months of 2020, respectively. However, in the following months, the city started to lure more and more foreign tourists. In June and July more than 1 million international holidaymakers came to the city.
Last year, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, a total of 5 million foreign tourists visited Istanbul, down from nearly 15 million visitors in 2019.