Number of tourists drops by 41 pct in June due to terrorism
by Daily Sabah
ISTANBULJul 29, 2016 - 12:00 am GMT+3
by Daily Sabah
Jul 29, 2016 12:00 am
The number of foreign visitors to Turkey saw a historical decline of 40.86 percent in June compared to the same month the previous year, due to terrorist attacks in the country coupled with the ban on travel to Turkey by Russia despite the normalization of relations, which has been ongoing since the end of June.
According to numbers announced on the Culture and Tourism Ministry's website yesterday, the decrease corresponds to a staggering 2.44 million people, the biggest fall since 1994.
Also, in semi-annual terms, the number of foreign visitors decreased by 27.9 percent to 10.74 million in the first half of the year, on year-on-year basis.
While the threat of terror attack, as seen in Turkey over the last 12 months, is expected to decline, the Kremlin's ban imposed on tours of the country, which resulted from the jet downing by Turkey on Nov. 24 last year, also contributed to the sharp decline. The number of visitors from Russia fell by 93 percent in June and 87.4 percent in the first half of the year, compared to the same periods the previous year.
In late June, President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's letter to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin represented an important step towards normalizing broken ties between the two countries. Putin signed a decree lifting restrictions on Russian tour firms working in Turkey as well as eliminating other sanctions.
Shortly after these developments, the first Russian convoy arrived in Turkey at the beginning of July. Currently, both countries are working to restart charter flights, which will further foster the tourism in the upcoming periods.