Dünya – Turkey’s Istanbul, a bustling megapolis with a history dating back thousands of years, has been voted Europe’s ‘Best Tourism City’ in 2013 by the Travel + Leisure Magazine. The city ranked second in the global list, “Best City in the World” category, being second only to Thailand’s Bangkok.
The magazine, a monthly publication by American Express Publishing, based its findings on reader votes, judging the contending cities by their historic and cultural sites, artistic attractions as well as food, shopping and overall value.
Istanbul bested Paris, Rome, London, Barcelona and other prominent cities of the world in both categories, building on its already strong reputation as a center of history and culture.
The Travel + Leisure Magazine award came after MasterCard’s annual top 20 Global Destination Cities Index where Istanbul is listed as the 6th most popular destination by international visitor arrivals.
Turkey welcomed 14.5 million foreign visitors in the first half of 2013, up 14 percent over a year earlier. Istanbul alone accounted for 4.9 million of the total in the said period, 16 percent more visitors than that of January-June of 2012.
Turkey expects to welcome 33 million foreign visitors this year, aiming to enter the top 5 of global tourist destinations.