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Foreign visits to Turkey climb in January-September

Turkey attracted 36.4 million foreign visitors in the first nine months of 2019, marking a 14.5% rise, the Culture and Tourism Ministry announced Thursday. The Mediterranean resort city of Antalya was the top draw for foreign visitors with a 34.2% share, attracting 12.5 million foreigners.

Istanbul, Turkey's largest city by population and a top tourist spot, came in a close second, welcoming 11.3 million foreign visitors from January to September.

The northwestern province of Edirne, which borders both Bulgaria and Greece, followed them with 3.4 million foreigners.

Ministry data showed that the country welcomed 41.6 million visitors, including Turkish citizens living abroad, up 12.2% during the same period.

Russia topped the list of visitors by country, with 5.9 million, followed by Germany with 4.1 million, and Britain with 2.2 million.

Separately, the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat) announced Thursday that Turkey’s tourism income in the first nine months of this year totaled over $26.6 billion, up 16.15% from the same period last year. 

In September, the number of foreign visitors surged 13.2% year-on-year to 5.4 million. 

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