Turkey saw a dramatic drop in the number of foreign arrivals from Europe and Russia in the first 11 months of the year, while the number of total foreign arrivals saw only a slight decline (around 1.36 percent) in the mentioned period compared to the first eleven months of 2014, according to temporary data revealed by the Tourism Ministry.
A total of 34.8 million foreign people visited the country in the first eleven months of 2015, according to data.
The decline in the number of European (with the exception of German) and Russian tourists was mainly due to economic problems in the Russian market and escalating security concerns in Turkey, according to sector representatives.
The number of Russian arrivals decreased by 18 percent to 3.6 million in the first eleven months of the year.
Turkey also saw around 26 percent of decline in the number of arrivals from Italy, 18.5 percent of decline in arrivals from France and around 15 percent of decline in arrivals from Spain in the first eleven months of the year compared to the same period of 2014. The number of arrivals from Japan also decreased by more than 37 percent, with only 100,000 Japanese visiting in the January-November period of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014, according to data.
The number of visitors from the Gulf countries and Iraq increased by an average of 30 percent in the first eleven months of the year compared to the same period of 2014.
Germany became the largest source of foreign arrivals to Turkey in the first eleven months of the year, with around 15.5 percent, followed by the Russian Federation with around 10.4 percent and Britain with around 7 percent, according to temporary data.
While Germany remained to be top source of visitors, with around 15 percent share in the total number of foreign arrivals into Turkey in November, Georgia and Bulgaria climbed reaching second and third with 9 percent and 7.5 percent, respectively.
Turkish tourism sector players expecting a continued decline in the number of Russian tourists visiting Turkey in 2016 unless the current diplomatic crisis between the two countries is resolved will launch a promotional campaign in Europe under the leadership of the Tourism Ministry to overcome the potential losses, according to leading sector representatives. The sector also plans to focus on the China and India markets in the medium-term.