Turkey’s tourism revenues in 2019 hit $34.5 billion, a 17 percent jump from the previous year, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).
The average expenditure per capita stood at $666 in 2019, up from $647 a year ago, the Hürriyet Daily News reported.
“In this year, while foreign visitors came to Turkey mostly for ‘travel, entertainment, [sports] and cultural activities’ with 73.6 percent, Turkish citizens resident abroad [came] mostly for ‘visiting relatives and friends’ with 61.7 percent,” TurkStat said.
The total number of visitors in the same period increased to 51.9 million, up 13.7 percent from the previous year.
The TurkStat data showed that 86.2 percent of visitors were foreign nationals and that the remaining 13.8 percent were Turkish nationals residing overseas.
İstanbul was the top destination with nearly 15 million tourists, accounting for 33 percent of all foreign visitors in 2019.
The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed with 14.65 million foreign visitors last year.
The third most popular destination was the northwestern province of Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, welcoming some 4.3 million foreigners.
By nationality, Russians took first place in the number of foreign visitors with 15.6 percent — some 7 million — in the same period, followed by Germans (11.2 percent or 5 million) and Bulgarians (6 percent or 2.7 million).