The number of foreign arrivals in Turkey rose to 32.4 million in 2017 with a 27.8 percent year-on-year increase, mainly thanks to a significant surge in Russian visitors, data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Jan. 31.
According to data from the ministry, some 1.7 million foreigners visited the country in December 2017 with a 30.8 percent year-on-year increase.
The data showed that more than 4.7 million Russians visited Turkey in 2017 with a 444 percent increase compared to the previous year as bilateral ties between Turkey and Russia normalized after the downed jet crisis.
The number of foreign arrivals regressed to 25.3 million in 2016 from 36.2 million in the previous year, amid a series of problematic developments. The number of foreign arrivals came to 36.8 million in 2014.
Russia became the top tourist market of Turkey in 2017 with a 14.6 percent share in total arrivals, according to the ministry data. Russia was followed by Germany with nearly 3.6 million visitors and an 11.1 percent share in the total arrivals. Iran became the third market for Turkey’s tourism sector as 2.5 million Iranians visited Turkey last year. Iran took a 7.7 percent share in total arrivals.