That’s because Türkiye, the country poised to overtake it, has experienced a whopping 70 percent increase in visitor numbers compared to before the pandemic.
And though France still has an abundance of countryside and great cities, wine and food, Türkiye has ancient monuments, landmarks, incredible beaches and… places to get surgery, apparently.
While the country, which straddles Europe and Asia, has always been a pretty popular destination, the booming medical tourism industry is a main driver of the increase in visitor numbers.
In 2022, 44.6 million people headed to Türkiye and 1.2 million of those were ‘medical tourists’. In 2023, the total number of visitors is set to surpass 50 million, and 746,290 medical tourists had already visited by the first half of the year, according to Tourism Economics and World Travel Market.
You might have heard of ‘Turkey teeth’ – a phenomenon that is seriously upsetting British dentists – but the numbers of people actually having procedures are actually pretty shocking.
250,000 foreign patients head to the country each year to have their teeth filed down (and risk serious nerve damage), according to the Turkish Dental Association. It’s one of the most popular treatments to be had in Türkiye, alongside hair transplantation, closely followed by laser-eye correction and weight-loss surgery.
While the number of medical tourists does seem pretty high, thankfully there are a whole lot of people heading to Türkiye just to appreciate its vibrant, historic glory. You can have a look at our favourite places in Türkiye here, or check out our Istanbul hub.
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