March tourist arrivals down nearly one-tenth

April 25, 2012, Wednesday/ 17:23:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

The number of overseas visitors to Turkey fell 9.72 percent year-on-year in March, to 1.46 million people, after falling 7.59 percent the previous month, Culture and Tourism Ministry data showed on Wednesday.

In the first quarter of 2012, the total number of foreign visitors amounted to 3.44 million people, down 6.35 percent from the same period last year. In 2011 as a whole, tourist arrivals increased 9.86 percent to 31.46 million, while revenues amounted to $23.02 billion. The increase was partly due to the Arab Spring revolutions in three North African nations, particularly in Egypt and Tunisia, which are competing with Turkey for visitors seeking a vacation by the Mediterranean coast. The success also came as a result of the country’s policy to remove visa requirements and improving diplomatic relations with a number of countries, particularly Russia, which sent some 4 million people to Turkey last year.

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