Tourism figures hint at recession

Tourism figures hint at recession

ESKİŞEHİR - Anatolia News Agency
Turkish Travel Agents Union (TÜRSAB) President Başaran Ulusoy said the number of tourists to Turkey had moderately improved despite the political problems with Syria and Iran alongside the economic crisis in the eurozone, but he warned about an economic slowdown by the end of the year. Still, the Turkish tourism sector is showing signs of a recession.

The growth in the number of tourists in the first eight months of 2012 when compared to the same period of 2011 is 0.29 percent. However, in the January-August 2010 period, the number of tourists had been up 10.45 percent, signaling a massive drop in a two-year period.

The number of tourists entering Turkey in the January-August 2012 period was 21.7 million. Ulusoy told
Anatolia news agency that tourism revenues were down 2.2 percent year-over-year at $6.6 billion in this period. That said, the tourism revenues from Turkish citizens living abroad registered a 2.8 percent increase to $1.8 billion. Total tourism revenue for 2011 was $23 billion.

“After the new year we think the tourism growth rate will be in the single digits. Turkish tourism was affected by the political crises in the Middle East and the economic crisis in Europe, starting with neighboring Greece,” said Ulusoy.

In the January-August 2012 period, some 7 million tourists visited Antalya, followed by Istanbul at 6 million, Muğla at 2 million, Edirne at 1.8 million and Artvin with 968,000, according to Ulusoy.