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Visitor numbers rising despite downturn
January 2010 1147

Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Minister recently announced that more than 28 million tourists are expected to visit the country in 2010.

He said the figure may reach 30 million in 2011 and even though the global economic crisis hit the tourism sector, 24.45 million people visited Turkey in 2009, representing a drop of only 1.89 million from 2008, according to data from the Interior Ministry and Culture and Tourism Ministry. 

In 2009, Antalya received the largest number of tourists of any province in Turkey, attracting a total of 7.89 million, or 30 per cent of all tourists visiting the country.

Istanbul, with 6.37 million visitors, came in second on the list. Germany sent the most tourists to Turkey in 2009, with a total of 4.42 million, followed by Russia, with 3.26 million.

The Middle East region also contributed significantly to this number.

According to figures from Etihad, the airline launched its five-times-a-week service between Abu Dhabi and Istanbul in June 2009 and reached a seat factor above 90 per cent during the peak summer months.

The destination is also a popular choice for travellers flying to and from Australia.

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