Tourism in Istanbul increased during the first five months of 2019 by 11%. The number of tourists exceeds five million visitors reaching its maximum over the last five years.

According to data published last week by the Governor’s Office in Istanbul, some 5.42 million tourists visited the largest Turkish city between January and May of this year, 11% more compared to the same period in 2018. Moreover, the overall number of foreign tourists who visited Turkey has grown by 11.3% compared to last year, totaling 12.8 million visitors over the 5-month period. The total number of travelers coming to Turkey increased by 11.5%.

Istanbul, one of the tourism capitals of the world thanks to its historical, cultural and natural heritage, seems continuously moving towards its goal – welcoming 15 million tourists in 2019.

By country, Germany led the ranking of foreign tourists who visited the city, with a total of 394,925 visitors per period; Iran followed with 337,428 tourists, while Russia ranked third with 290,985 people.

Experts on tourism in Istanbul highlight the positive impact of the new airport opened earlier this year. About 42% of all tourists who traveled to Turkey so far this year visited Istanbul, the third most visited tourist city in Europe and the tenth in the world by the number of tourists.

A new tourism agency, Advertising, and Tourism Development Agency is being planned by the authorities to support inbound tourism in Istanbul and the whole country even more. Last year, 81.8% of tourism revenues were brought by foreign tourists. By 2023, the government plans to gain three places in the ranking of the most popular destinations, where Turkey is currently ranked eighth.