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Award-Winning Istanbul Airport Attracts Tourists

Created : 05 Nov 2021
Award-Winning Istanbul Airport Attracts Tourists

By. Justin Mays

5.8 million tourists have visited Istanbul, Turkey in the last nine months. This is more than the total number of tourists who visited in 2020 when the Tourism sector was facing challenges brought by the effects of COVID-19. Istanbul Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism indicated that Istanbul received 975.916 tourists in September alone, an increment of 111% compared to the previous September. 

The majority of visitors were Iranians with 105.958 arriving in September which is 10.86% of the total number of visitors in that month followed by Russians with 81.615 tourists. 79.384 tourists arrived from Germany, 53.953 from Iraq, 34.157 from France, 33.198 from the United States of America, and 30.212 from Ukraine. These countries were followed by Jordan, Kuwait, Uzbekistan, Libya, the Netherlands, Azerbaijan, Lebanon, Morocco, Egypt, the U.K, Kazakhstan, Sweden, Tunisia, Belgium, Spain, Syria, Italy, and Switzerland respectively whose citizens also visited Istanbul. 

In September, 973.010 visitors arrived in Istanbul by air while 2.906 arrived by sea giving an increase of 112% and 6% respectively. 284.328 tourists landed at Sabiha Gokcen Airport, 1.311 tourists landed at the Ataturk Airport which is usually closed to passenger traffic and 687.171 tourists disembarked at the Istanbul Airport which is on the European side. 70% of foreigners indicated that they preferred Istanbul Airport and 29% preferred Sabiha Gokcen Airport.


The European Airport Trade Association also awarded Istanbul Airport the Best Airport Award under the “over 40 million passengers” category. Airports Council International (ACI) Europe judges present at the award ceremony described Istanbul as a “state-of-the-art airport supporting efficient operations and offering top quality service to the passengers and airport stakeholders”.

ACI indicated that Istanbul Airport was the first to secure ACI Airport Health Accreditation in the world and they use the latest technology to offer the best health safety to their passengers, and this is another reason why many tourists prefer to use this airport.

Istanbul Airport also has an accessible route operating in conjunction with loud steps featuring a single-lane physical paving surface to help passengers using mobility canes to reach their boarding gates in the domestic terminal. The airport that launched in 2018 has a capacity of 95 million passengers annually and after its four phases are completed by 2028, it will boast a passenger capacity of around 200 million.  

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