Turkey welcomes almost 9.5 million foreign visitors in 9 months
Turkey welcomed some 9.46 million foreign visitors during the first nine months of 2020, the country's Culture and Tourism Ministry announced on Friday.
Amid lockdowns and travel restrictions worldwide due to the coronavirus pandemic, the number of foreigners visiting the country dropped some 74% on a yearly basis, the ministry data showed.
While the country hosted 4 million foreign visitors in the last two months-August and September-this figure was around only 50,000 during April and May, when the pandemic peaked in Turkey.
In the nine-month period, Istanbul remained Turkey's top tourist draw, attracting 38.28% of all visitors-around 3.6 million.
The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya followed it with 25.56% or over 2.4 million foreign visitors in the same period, and the northwestern province Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, saw the third-highest share with 13.16%.
Some 7.2 million visitors came to Turkey via airways, while 2.12 million chose motorways, 148,550 seaways, and 4,523 railways.
Russians accounted for some 15% or nearly 1.4 million of the visitors, followed by Germans with 9.65% (912,749 visitors), and Ukrainians with some 8.17% (772,851).
In September, the country saw 2.2 million foreign visitors, down 59.40% year-on-year.
In 2019, more than 45 million foreigners entered the country, up from nearly 39.5 million in 2018.
The hotel occupancy rate across Turkey was 35.4% in the nine-month period, down 47.8% from the same period last year, a hotel association said on Friday.
The average daily rate (ADR) for rooms dropped 9% in the same period to €72 ($84), while revenue per available room (RevPAR) was down by 52.5% to €25.4 ($29.6), according to the Turkish Hotel Association (TUROB).
The occupancy rate was 44.9% in September, down 39.6% year-on-year.
A number of hotels in Turkey temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic, and the occupancy rate of 44.9% was calculated from the hotels that decided to stay open, the group said.
The ADR rose 4.8% to €87.2 ($101.7), and the RevPAR was down 36.8% to €39.1 ($46.2) in September.
The highest occupancy rate was seen in Antalya both in September and the nine-month period, with 60.5% and 39.8%, respectively.