Published on : Thursday, March 1, 2018
The overall arrivals of international tourists has surged around 38 percent from a year earlier to 1.46 million, while the visitors from Iran surged 52 percent to 154,296, putting the country ahead of Georgia, Bulgaria and traditional leader Germany in the rankings of total tourists.
The number of German visitors rose 10 percent, below European averages, amid political tensions between Berlin and Ankara.
Turkey is looking for to increase the tourism from outside with its traditional markets in Europe as it works to finance a ballooning current account deficit that reached 5.6 percent of economic output in 2017, and relations with Europe deteriorate.
The tourism industry of Turkey, centered on Istanbul, the city with two continents, and the resort towns of Antalya and Bodrum, is recovering after political tensions with Russia, sparked by the downing of a Russian military jet in November 2015, abated and bomb attacks that year were not repeated.
The visitors from major European countries rose an average 26 percent, lagging an increase in tourists from the Middle East of 62 percent, the data showed. The arrivals from Eastern European countries climbed 50 percent.
The arrivals from the United States fell 4.5 percent to 18,278 amid a political crisis over United States support for Kurdish militants in Syria and a Turkish military incursion into the country.