Turkey tourism figures plummet

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Turkey saw a sharp decrease in arrivals last year, with civil instability and terror attacks keeping visitors away from the once-popular destination.

According to Minister of Culture and Tourism, the number of arrivals began to drop in the second half of 2015, with the year overall registering a 1.6 per cent decrease compared to 2014, down to 36.2 million. But the losses seen in 2016 have been cataclysmic.

Last June saw a 40 per cent decrease in foreign visitors compared to June 2015. Every month except January recorded a double-digit decrease.

The figures for the year have not yet been published, but comparing 11-month totals, excluding December, Turkey welcomed 24 million visitors in 2016, compared to 35 million over the same period in 2015.

The Istanbul New Year’s nightclub shooting is yet another major blow to Turkey’s tourism sector, which was already reeling from a series of violent attacks over the past year.

The number of foreign arrivals to Turkey fell by 21.3 percent in November, from the same month in 2015, according to the Tourism Ministry.