Turkey attracts more than 35 million tourists in first 10 months of 2018

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A view of İstanbul from the tallest building in the city. AFP PHOTOS

More than 35 million tourists visited Turkey in the first 10 months of 2018, a 22.4 percent increase over the previous year, the Culture and Tourism Ministry announced on Friday.

Turkey has targeted 40 million tourists by yearend.

In excess of 25 million and almost 32.5 million tourist visits were recorded in 2016 and 2017, respectively.

Due to a currency crisis, the Turkish lira has lost around 35 percent of its value against the US dollar since the beginning of the year, making the country an attractive vacation destination for foreigners.

Although the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey has increased, spending per tourist has decreased, according to the country’s national statistics institute.

Thirty-three percent of the tourists entered Turkey from southern Mediterranean city of Antalya, while close to 32 percent chose İstanbul, which hosts more than 10 million tourists every year.

Bangkok was the most popular city in the world in 2018 with over 20 million overnight visitors, according to Condé Nast Traveler. İstanbul ranks ninth on the list after London, Paris, Dubai, Singapore, New York City, Kuala Lumpur and Tokyo. In 10th place was Seoul.

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