Tourist numbers down due to Russian effect

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 29.06.2015 20:12
Updated 29.06.2015 20:15
Tourist numbers down due to Russian effect

The number of tourists visiting Turkey dropped to 3.8 million in May, marking a decline of 2.46 percent. Due to the nearly 30 percent decline in the number of Russian tourists coming to Turkey, the number of foreign visitors to Turkey fell to 10.77 million in the first five months of the year, with a decrease of 1.21 percent. According to data released by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of tourists visiting Turkey dropped to 3.8 million in May, marking a decline of 2.46 percent. The number of Russian tourists, which reached 1.1 million with an upsurge of 11 percent between May 2014 and June 2014, decreased to 809,915 in the same period of 2015, with a slump of 28.3 percent. The number of Russian tourists to Turkey was nearly 700,000 in May 2014, however, this figure dropped by 28 percent to 500,000 in May 2015.

With 623,685 tourists, who corresponded to 16.4 percent, Germany ranked first among countries from which the greatest number of tourists visited Turkey in May. Germany was followed by Russia and the United Kingdom from which 501,196 and 310,840 tourists came to Turkey, corresponding to 13.17 percent and 8.17 percent, respectively. As far as the first five months of the year are concerned, 1.55 million German tourists, 801,915 Russian tourists and 665,489 Bulgarian tourists came to Turkey, having shares of 14.42, 7.44 and 6.18 percent, respectively in the total number of tourists visiting Turkey. The number of German tourists surged by 26.4 percent in May, while it increased by 12.46 percent in the first five months of the year. Despite the cease-fire that was brokered between Ukraine and pro-Russian separatists in previous months, clashes are still continuing in the east of the country. Russia is blamed by Western countries for providing heavy weapons to the insurgents. The United States and the EU imposed sanctions on Russia because of the Ukrainian crisis. The sanctions led to the depreciation of the Russian ruble and weakened the purchasing power of Russian people abroad. The number of foreign visitors from the Commonwealth of Independent States, which includes Russia, Azerbaijan, Georgia and Ukraine, plummeted by 12.44 percent to 2.23 million in the first five months of the year. The share of the regional countries in Turkey's total number of tourists dropped below 21 percent from 23.4 percent.

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