Currency / Language


NEWS BBC’s Travel Department: “Two most visited cities in the world are in Turkey”

12 Feb 2024

In a report published by the market research company Euromonitor International in December, two cities from Turkey were included in the list of the most visited countries in the world.

The British broadcasting company BBC's Travel Department wrote that the two most visited cities in the world were in Turkey, drawing attention to the "hidden hero." In said article, it was mentioned that travel had almost reached the level before the Covid-19 pandemic.

Referring to the statement of the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) in November 2023 that "international travel is on track to reach 90% of pre-pandemic levels and approximately 975 million people travelled abroad throughout the year," the news stated that Turkey was the common destination in the minds of international 'travellers'.

Two of the four most visited cities in the world are in Turkey

According to the Top 100 City Destinations Index prepared by Euromonitor International in 2023, two of the four most visited cities in the world are in Turkey: Istanbul and Antalya. Hadrian's Gate, or Three Gates, is one of the tourist spots in the city. The monumental victory arch built on the walls surrounding the city in honour of the visit of Roman Emperor Hadrian in 130 AD is visited by tens of thousands of tourists every day.

In the report, "Istanbul ranked first in international arrivals in 2023 with a 26% increase compared to the previous year, followed by London (17% increase) in second place and Dubai (18% increase) in third place.

Antalya has long been a popular travel destination for Germans, Russians, and British, who make up the majority of international visitors. Its turquoise waters, mild winters, very hot summers, and 300 days of sunny weather have historically made Antalya a beach destination.

Its dramatic location on the limestone plateau surrounded by Roman walls and Ottoman-era houses led to the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, once saying, "There is no doubt that Antalya is the most beautiful place in the world."

Thanks to the increase in flights...

Due to the significant increase in current flights, more people from all over the world are experiencing the beauty of Antalya. According to the Euromonitor International report, the city experienced a 29% increase in international visitor numbers in 2023 compared to 2022.

The impact of visa facilitation on the increase

In January 2024, Turkey abolished the requirement for e-visas for visits of less than 90 days for passengers coming from the USA, Canada, and Mexico. This latest relaxation in entry conditions is likely to increase the number of international travelers to Turkey, which reached more than 49 million with a 10.4% increase in 2023.

Turkey also continues to be a relatively affordable destination for Americans; the cost of living is estimated to be 54% lower than in the USA.

Increasing interest in health tourism

Another factor attracting visitors to Turkey is the growing health tourism sector. According to data from the Turkish Statistical Institute, approximately 1.2 million people traveled to Turkey for health tourism in 2022. This represents a 308% increase compared to 2021.

In just the first half of 2023, an additional 746,290 medical tourists visited Turkey. Antalya is particularly popular for dental tourism, with many local dentists and all-inclusive dental tourism operators offering to cover patients' travel accommodations as well.

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