Turkey tourist numbers take another dive in February

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Still no signs of a recovery for Turkey’s battered tourist industry.

Foreign visitor numbers fell by 6.5 per cent in February compared to the same month in 2016 – the 19th consecutive month of declines in arrivals in a country hit by security and political concerns.

Overall visitor numbers hit 1.15m last month, down from 1.24m in the same month last year but a slight uptick from the 1.05m registered in January, according to Turkey’s tourism ministry.

Tourism accounts for 13 per cent of the Turkish economy, with the industry helping support 8 per cent of all jobs. But the sector has been hit hard by the country’s long-running war conflict in Syria, an influx of refugees from the region and a botched coup attempt last summer.

The fall in February arrivals comes despite a sharp rebound in Russian tourists to the country after Ankara and Moscow repaired diplomatic relations last year. Russian arrivals were up 95.6 per cent last month compared to February 2016.

Declining tourist numbers have helped push Turkey’s economy into reverse – with growth contracting at its worst pace since the financial crisis in the third quarter.

We’ll be getting the latest GDP figures from Q4 tomorrow.

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