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Number of foreigns arriving in Turkey rebouned in May from a year ago

Number of foreigns arriving in Turkey rebouned in May from a year ago

Some 936,282 tourists arrived last month, jumping by a whopping 3,038% from 29,829 in May 2020, data by the Culture and Tourism Ministry showed Friday.

The figure was still a fraction of the 4 million who came in 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Turkey began closing its borders and restricting activity when its first COVID-19 case was recorded in March 2020.

Month on month, the arrivals surged in May despite a 17-day full lockdown to stem a surge in COVID-19 cases.

Arrivals in the January-May period were still down 14.27% to 3.68 million, compared to 4.29 million a year ago, the data showed.

Some 12.75 million tourists arrived in the five-month period of 2019 before the pandemic hit.

Ukrainians topped the list among nations in May with 236,000, followed by Germany with 95,000, Bulgaria with 57,000 and Iran and Iraq with around 44,000 each.

The country’s top tourist source, the Russians led the way in the first five months despite a two-month suspension in flights imposed by Moscow due to concerns about a surge in COVID-19 cases in April.

Thousands of Russian tourists began arriving in Turkey this week after Moscow lifted the flight ban, boosting hopes of a revival in tourism revenues this year.