Ankara- Russian tourists have topped the list of foreign visitors to Turkey in the first five months of this year, the Ministry of Culture and Tourism has said.
According to the ministry’s provisional data, a total of 8,762,509 visitors came to Turkey from more than 100 countries, including Russia, Germany, Iraq, Venezuela, Singapore, the Netherlands, Australia and Mexico, from January 2017 to May 2017. The number of foreign visitors in Turkey soared by 5.55 percent year-on-year.
Last year, the number of Russian tourists dropped significantly when Russia banned charter holidays to Turkey after one of its fighter jets was shot down by the Turkish military over the Syrian border in November 2015.
But the number of Russian tourists coming from Russia in the first five months of 2017 skyrocketed by 571.86 percent compared to the same period last year.
A total of 928,376 Russian tourists visited Turkey between January and May 2017. Russia was followed by Georgia with 874,955 tourists, Germany with 863,572 tourists, Iran with 774,010 tourists and Bulgaria with 638,409 tourists. A total of 396,515 people visited Turkey from the UK, 316,252 from Ukraine, 243,421 from Azerbaijan, 239,996 from Iraq, 205,931 from the Netherlands and 204,806 from Greece from January to May.
Saudi Arabia, France, Romania, Israel, and the US were among the countries from where more than 100,000 tourists came to Turkey.
Meanwhile, British authorities informed Turkey that they will lift restrictions on large electronic devices being carried as cabin luggage on direct flights from Turkey.
A ban on carrying such devices aboard US-bound passenger aircraft was ended for Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul in early July.