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Antalya, one of Turkey's top tourist hotspots, has welcomed a record 14 million foreign tourists this year, data from the provincial directorate of culture and tourism showed.

Foreign visits to the city, which hosted a total of 13.6 million international holidaymakers in 2018, stood at a little more than 14 million between January and Oct. 15. In the same period of last year, the corresponding figure was 12 million tourists.

The city, which welcomed tourists from 193 countries, targets to attract as much as 16 million visitors this year.

Russians top the list of foreign tourists with 5.2 million, marking a 15 percent rise on an annual basis, followed by Germans nationals with 2.5 million and Ukrainians with 776,000.

The number of German tourists increased by 16 percent in January and Oct.15 from a year earlier.

Moreover, a total of 656,000 Britons visited the city over the said period. 

Data also showed that 516,000 Polish and 397,000 Dutch tourists spent their holidays in Antalya.

Meanwhile, for the first time in history, tourists in Turkey’s megacity Istanbul are expected to exceed the city’s own residents in number, the city’s chamber of commerce president has said.

During a press meeting in Cannes, France on Oct. 18, Istanbul Chamber of Commerce (ITO) President Şekib Avdagiç said Istanbul was expected to receive 15.5 million tourists by the end of 2019.

Avdagiç’s remarks came during a press meeting of MIPCOM 2019 – a prestigious film, content, TV and production industry exhibition – where he said hotel occupancy rate in Istanbul was around 87 percent.

Strong demand from tourists in Istanbul also pushed hotel prices up 27 percent on foreign currency basis, Avdagiç added.

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