Iraq on top despite 13% drop

Iraqis lead 2023 Arab tourist arrivals in Turkey

ERBIL, December 28 — Iraq led tourist arrivals from Arab countries to Turkey in 2023, with nearly one millions visitors according to the Turkish Ministry of Tourism.

Approximately 987,000 Iraqis visited Turkey this year, marking a 13 percent decrease compared to the previous year, when over 1.1 million Iraqis visited the country.

Overall, some four million Arab tourists visited destinations across Turkey in 2023 representing nine percent of the country’s tourism arrivals. Saudi nationals took the second-place spot in tourist arrivals.

Farouk Qardagi, Director of Asman Real Estate and Tourism Company in Turkey, shared, “A decrease in the number of tourists is normal, as the number of Iraqis increases or decreases annually based on circumstances and facilities provided.”

In addition to a drop in tourist arrivals, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute, the number of Iraqi buyers in the Turkish real estate market dropped from third to seventh place among foreigners.

Qaradagi said the change in real estate purchases was likely due to new conditions for granting citizenship by investment requiring construction of housing units on land acquisitions.