More than 40 million tourists coming from abroad visited Turkey in the January-October 2018 period.

The Culture and Tourism Ministry announced Friday that nearly 35.6 million foreigners visited Turkey in the first 10 months of 2018, a 22.4 percent increase compared to some 29 million in the same period last year.

Meanwhile, more than five million Turkish citizens living abroad arrived in the first nine months of 2018, according to the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat), helping Turkey exceed the 40 million target for foreign visits set by the government.

Russia led the way with 5.26 million tourists in the first nine months of this year, recording a 16.09 percent year-on-year increase. It was followed by Germany with 4.16 million visitors and the U.K. with 2.16 million. While the number of Germans coming to Turkey in the period of January to October rose by 11.68 percent the number British tourists increased by 6.07 percent compared to the same period of last year.

In October alone, the number foreign visitors to Turkey saw a 25.48 percent hike and reached 3.7 million.

In 2017, Turkey hosted 32.4 million foreign visitors in 2017 and earned tourism-based revenue of $26.5 billion.