Bulgarians account for nearly 3.5% of all foreign tourists who vacationed in Turkey in June, according to data from the Turkish Economy Ministry. During the first month of the active tourist season, the country had been visited by 120 000 Bulgarians, making them the fifth largest group of foreign tourists on the Turkish market. There is, however, a slight decrease compared to June 2009, when this number stood at 121 000. The total number of all Bulgarians, who traveled to Turkey during the first half of 2010 is 624 000, which is still 3.5% of the market and a 2% reduction on annual basis. Germans hold the first spot by the number of holidaymakers visiting Turkey in the first six months of the year with nearly 1.7 million, followed by the Russians with 1.2 million visitors (a boost of a staggering 25% year on year, surpassing all foreign tourists in the country for the month of June). The sharp increase is attributed to Turkey lifting the visa requirements for Russian citizens. Meanwhile, data shows that the number of vacationers from Israel slumped by the record 90% in June, following the Gaza conflict between the two countries. Only 2 600 Israelis visited Turkey in June 2010, compared to 27 000 a year earlier. The beaches in Antalia and Mugla remain top tourist destinations. Istanbul, which was declared European Culture Capital for 2010, is also among the most preferred locations by foreign travelers. Official statistics further show that for the first half of 2010, the number of foreign tourists went up by 10% and the forecast is that it would reach 15% by the end of the year. Turkey is expected to be one of the top tourist destinations for 2010.