Foreign visitors to Turkey drop in first nine months of 2015

The number of foreigners who visited Turkey between January and September of this year has dropped 1.1 percent compared to last year, according to official figures.
Last month, the top five most visited provinces were Antalya, Istanbul, Muila, Edirne and Artvin. The first three are popular tourist destinations while the latter border Bulgaria, Greece and Georgia.
During the first nine months of 2015, Germans were the most frequent visitors, accounting for 14.83 percent of all foreign visitors to Turkey within that period. Russians came in second at 11.02 percent, in a year where economic conditions have thwarted the normally massive number of Russians who flock to Turkeyand’s Mediterranean coast. The number of Russians who came to Turkey last month declined 17.06 percent, compared to last year.
Though the 1.1 percent decline may seem marginal, Turkey has experienced considerable growth in its tourism sector, achieving 9.8 percent growth in visitors in 2013 and 5.5 percent last year. The Russian economic crises brought on by sanctions and a drop in global oil prices that weakened the ruble was a major determining factor in the downturn of Turkeyand’s tourism industry, while the tension and violence that has swept over the country in recent months has also had a major impact.