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Tourist Arrivals In Turkey Rise 16 Percent In May, Russians Top List

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The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey in May increased 16.27 percent compared to the same month last year.

The rise in tourists brought the total number of visitors in May to 2,889,873.

Data from the National Police Department featured on the Culture and Tourism Ministry's website shows the total number of entrances and exits by international visitors last month.

Statistics show that the number of foreign visitors in the January to May period of this year rose by 5.5 percent compared to the same period last year with a total of 8,762,509 tourists arriving in that five-month period of 2017.

Russians came at the top of the list, making up 21.6 percent of the foreign visitors. A total of 608,472 Russian visitors came in May.

Second was Germany, with 10.21 percent of total visitors, followed by Georgia with 8.15 percent. The U.K. and Bulgaria were next in line.

Of all foreigners visiting Turkey in May, 98.5 percent came for tourism.

The most popular destination for tourists was Antalya, receiving 36.27 percent of total arrivals, followed by Istanbul with 28.74 percent, Artvin with 8.48 percent, Muğla with 8.17 percent and Edirne with 8.07 percent.

However, 40.65 percent of tourists in the January to May period entered Turkey through the gates of Istanbul, followed by Antalya with 20.81 percent, Edirne with 10.65 percent, Artvin with 10.50 percent and Muğla with 3.66 percent.

Russia also topped the list in the January to May period, making up 10.59 percent of all visitors. Close on its heels came Georgia with 9.99 percent, Germany with 9.86 percent, and then Iran and Bulgaria.

There was an increase of 1.18 percent in Turkish citizens entering the country in May compared with the previous year, while there was a 0.93 percent increase in Turkish citizens leaving the country.

Over the January to May period, Turkish arrivals rose 0.35 percent compared to last year, and Turkish departures rose 1.36 percent.

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