2013 was a great year for tourism in Turkey, and Istanbul’s total number of international arrivals last year proved that.
Istanbul broke the all time record welcoming 10.474.867 tourists in 2013. The Tourism Directorate said that the number of foreign tourists visiting Istanbul increased 11.7 per cent compared to 2012.
The number of tourists visiting the city also increased 15.6 per cent in December compare to December 2012. 754.789 tourists arrived to Istanbul in December 2013.
Most of the visitors in Istanbul were from Germany with 1.179.397 tourists which is followed by Russia with 573.528, USA with 503.019 tourists is in 3rd, and France with 478.258 tourists in fourth and UK with 456.172 tourists made the 5th place.
I gave a presentation last weekend about our Wildland Adventures in Turkey and someone asked the same question we get every time: "Is it safe to travel to Turkey?" It certainly is, and even when there was a occupy movement in Istanbul last summer to block the development of a mall in the city center that was violently descended upon by police, it never disrupted the travel or safety of our travelers there during that time.
Speaking of time, no matter how many conventional tourists there are in Turkey, our guides do a great job of avoiding them for the most part because we do our own walking tours on side streets used by locals, visit ancient sites along the Turquoise Coast after day visitors have departed, and instead of taking a tourist cruise up the Bosphorus we ride with local commuters at the end of the day on the public passenger ferry for the most authentic experience.
The peak season for travel in Turkey is spring, summer and fall. If you are planning to go in 2014 it is time to book now because with so many travelers going this year many of our favorite boutique hotels get booked up far in advance. And, if you are interested in cruising in a gulet on our Turquoise Coast Odyssey or Voyaging in the Dodecanese Islands of Greece and Turkey it's necessary to put deposits down to secure your boat.