A record 7.5 million tourists visited Istanbul in 2009, up 6.5 percent from 2008, according to the Istanbul Visitor and Convention Bureau, which cited the Istanbul Culture and Tourism Directorate as its source.

The top five top countries sending tourists to Istanbul were listed as Germany with 1.1 million (14.8 percent); the UK with 427,500 (5.7 percent); France, 384,500 (5.1 percent), and the U.S. 367,100 (4.9 percent).

In previous years, the number of Russian tourists visiting the city ranked second after Germans. However, with 363,563 arrivals, Russia dropped to 6th place among the top source markets in 2009.