UDATE – Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey bounce back in April

ANKARA (AA) – Foreign tourist arrivals in Turkey shot up in April, in a sharp turnaround from the trickle of travelers due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to official data released Monday.

The country attracted 790,687 foreign visitors this April, ballooning 3,162% from the same month of last year, said Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry.

With the widespread introduction of travel restrictions and the closure of airports and national borders, in April 2020 the world tourism sector nearly ground to a halt.

However, as the virus persists despite fewer cases and aggressive vaccination campaigns, the improved numbers did not overtake the pre-pandemic level of April 2019.

Last month, Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city by population, was the top draw for foreign visitors with a 53% share, attracting 419,686 foreigners.

It was followed by the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya and Edirne in northwestern Turkey, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece.

Ministry data showed that the country welcomed 3.5 million visitors, including Turkish citizens living abroad.

– 4-month figure

In January-April, some 2.7 million foreigners entered Turkey, down 35.6% from the same period last year.

Russia topped the list of visitors by country in the first four months of this year with 552,048, followed by Iran with 194,384 and Ukraine with 187,029.

Source: Anadolu Agency