Tension experienced in border regions due to attacks by the ISIS and the Russian economic crisis are affecting Turkey's tourism industry.
According to data released on the Culture and Tourism Ministry website, the number of foreign visitors dropped by 4.89 percent to 4.12 million in June compared to the same month of the previous year. Moreover, the number of tourists visiting in the first half of the year decreased to 14.89 million, a fall of 2.25 percent. The number of Russian tourists tumbled from 2 million in the first half of last year to 1.45 million in the same period this year, a slump of more than 25 percent. The decline in the number of Russian tourists stood at 19 percent in June.
The ministry's data also revealed that the number of French tourists plummeted by 22.3 percent in the first six months of the year, while the number of Italian visitors dropped by 19.5 percent. A total of 2.11 million German tourists came in the first half of the year, which gave the country the largest share of the number of tourists visiting, with 14.16 percent. Russia ranked second with 1.45 million tourists and a 9.77 percent share, followed by the U.K. with 950,313 visitors and a 6.38 percent share. Last year, Turkey's net tourism income, which amounted to $25 billion, close to 53 percent of the country's $46.5 billion current account deficit. However, tourism sector representatives suggest that it is becoming difficult to achieve last year's income even though the sector aims to have around $30 billion in net income.