According to a recent report by the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO), Turkey welcomed 39.9 million tourists last year, making it the 6th most visited country in the world.
This smashes the earlier prediction made back in November by the Turkish Tourism Ministry, when they announced that year end figures would be around 31.4 million - it also elevates Turkey back into the Top 10 most visited countries after placing 13th in a dismal 2016.
Last year, 1.32 billion people worldwide travelled overseas, with the Top 10 most visited countries accounting for 42% of these travellers.
With 88.9 million foreign visitors, France took the No.1 spot last year, followed by Spain (82.2 million), USA (72.9 million), China (59.3 million) and Italy ( 57.8 million) – rounding out the Top 10 were Mexico (39.3 million), the UK, (38.7 million), Germany (37.6 million) and Thailand (34.7 million).
Responding to the report, Erkan Yağcı - Chairman of the Mediterranean Hoteliers Association - recalled that 2014 was the best year for Turkish tourism, when around 41.4 million tourists visited the country. He added "this year, I would say we are going to be just fine and Turkey can exceed the 2014 figures. We can reach 45 million tourists by the end of 2018."