Istanbul ranked Europe's top tıorist destination
Istanbul was awarded "Europe's top destination 2013" by a European consumer agency on Sunday, an award that comes as the country saw its tourism numbers rise 21 percent in the first four months of 2013.The Brussels-based European Consumers Choice, a non-profit consumer and travel advice group, named Istanbul its top pick for tourists this year. "Turkey's fabled city of Istanbul is the historic crossroads between East and West, a city of minarets and palaces and the perfect choice for a refreshing city break," the group wrote. Tourists seem to have agreed so far this year, with the Anatolia news agency reporting on Sunday that the number of tourists visiting the city during the first four months of 2013 grew by 21 percent year-on-year. Citing a study by several tourism unions, Anatolia said that the total number of visitors so far this year was 2.92 million, compared to the 2.42 million tourists who visited the city during the same period a year earlier. Visitors from Germany have so far taken the lead in 2013 with 103,417 tourists, while Russian tourists numbered 59,448, and French visitors 52,353 between January and April.