Turkey: tourism crumbles to lowest levels since 1990s

Visitor numbers fall 34.7% in May due to terror threat, Russia

28 June, 17:24

    Turkish sellers wait for tourists after an explosion near the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet district of central Istanbul Turkish sellers wait for tourists after an explosion near the Blue Mosque in the Sultanahmet district of central Istanbul

    ISTANBUL - Tourist visits to Turkey continue to fall due to the threat of terror attacks and the deterioration of relations with Russia, data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Tuesday.

    In May, visits from abroad fell by 34.7% on the year to 2.4 million people. Such a large drop has not been registered since the 1990s.

    The number of Russian tourists to Turkey has sunk 92% on the year as a result of tensions between the two countries after Turkish military shot down a Russian jet on the Syrian border. A letter of apology sent by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to Russia's Vladimir Putin may help to improve relations.

    According to tourism sector workers, the return of Russian tourists to Turkey will not happen before next year.

    The number of European tourists has also fallen sharply as a result of fears linked to terrorism. German visitors were down 31.5%, British visitor numbers fell 29.4% and Italian visitors slid 56.2%.

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