American Express released its 2023 Trending Destinations list, which features the 10 most popular destinations for travel next year.
Türkiye’s megacity ranked third globally in the list after Copenhagen and the Florida Keys. Lisbon and Mexico City came fourth and fifth, while Paris ranked seventh.
Istanbul welcomed 13.4 million foreign tourists in January-October this year, a 92 percent increase from the same period of 2020.
In the first 10 months of 2019, only 4.2 million foreign travelers visited the city. In the whole of 2021, foreign tourist arrivals surpassed 9 million, up from 5 million visitors in 2020.
In October alone, the number of foreign tourists increased by 37.5 percent compared with the same month of 2021.
Russians were at the top of the foreign visitors’ list, followed by German nationals and Iranians.
According to data from the provincial directorate of culture and tourism, last month, 185,000 Russians arrived in the city, accounting for nearly 12 percent of all foreign tourists.
Istanbul hosted 116,000 Germans and nearly 95,000 Iranians in October. Tourists from the U.S. and Britons constituted 4.6 percent (72,000) and 4 percent (63,000) of foreign arrivals, respectively.
More than 55,000 French and over 40,000 Israelis visited the city last month.
The number of Saudi visitors soared from only 517 in October 2021 to 49,000 in the same month of 2022, while visitors from the United Arab Emirates leaped 228 percent year-on-year to 6,400.
American Express’ poll was conducted in July 2022 among a sample of 2,000 U.S. travelers who have a household income of at least $70,000 and are defined as adults who typically travel by air at least once a year.