Turkey hosts over 3.2 mln foreign visitors in first 2 months of 2019

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ANKARA, March 29 (Xinhua) -- Turkey hosted more than 3.2 million foreign visitors during the first two months of 2019, the Culture and Tourism Ministry said Friday.

Tourism industry is a vital contributor to Turkey's economy and employment, with about 39.5 million foreign arrivals in the country in 2018.

Istanbul, Turkey's largest city and most popular tourist destination, attracted nearly 1.9 million visitors, followed by Edirne near the northwestern border and the Mediterranean coast city of Antalya.

The official data showed Bulgarians made up almost 8.55 percent of foreign visitors, followed by Germans (7.34 percent) and Georgians (7.25 percent).

According to data released on its official site, the number of foreigners visiting Turkey rose by 7.4 percent year-on-year in January and February to around 3.21 million.