Istanbul, tourism amidst coronavirus pandemic

Almost 3 million foreign tourists have travelled to Istanbul this year

Germans, Iranians, Americans and Ukrainians were the tourists who travelled the most to Istanbul during the month of June.

Almost 3 million foreign tourists have travelled to Istanbul this year, according to data provided by the Istanbul Culture and Tourism Office, which reveals that the Bosphorus metropolis received more than 2.7 million visits during the first six months of 2021, despite the pandemic.

During the month of June alone, some 685,000 foreign tourists visited the Turkish city, a figure that represents the highest in the last 16 months. Some 682,000 visitors arrived in Istanbul by air, while 3,200 did so by sea, according to official figures; Istanbul Airport received 456,000 international passengers that month, while 224,000 arrived through the Asian airport of Sabiha Gökçen.

By nationality, Germans were the most important group of foreign tourists who arrived in Istanbul, adding a total of 71,000: that is, 10% of the total arrivals; they were followed by Iranians (54,000), Americans (39,500), Ukrainians (31,000), Iraqis (29,600), French (28,000) and Russians (21,000). In addition, some 15,000 Israelis also chose Istanbul as their destination.

Tourism data shows that Istanbul received visitors from 190 different countries in June; San Marino, Macao, Monaco, The Vatican, Brunei, the Solomon Islands, Swaziland and Tuvalu are in the last positions of the ranking of countries of origin of tourists who travelled to Istanbul, since only one person from each of these countries visited the city.

The growth of foreign tourism is not unique to Istanbul. According to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, Turkey received some 5.8 million foreign tourists during the first six months of the year, 27.1% more than in the same period of the previous year. Only during the month of June, Turkey received more than 2 million tourists, a figure considerably higher than the 215,000 visitors that the country just received in June 2020, in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.