International tourist arrivals in the first four months of 2012 dropped 3.8 percent compared with the same period last year, according to data compiled by Anatolia news agency from the World Tourism Organization (WTO). Turkey’s tourism revenues recorded a 7 percent drop in the same period according to the World Tourism Barometer.
The number of Iranian tourists coming to Turkey has dropped significantly in this period as relations between the two countries have become increasingly tense due to Turkey’s confrontation against Syria and the scaling down of energy imports from Iran due to Western sanctions.
The number of Iranian tourists plunged to 438,840 in the first four months of the year, from 746,686 in the same period last year, according to data issued by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The figure was 739,803 in the same period in 2010, the data show.
The main reason for the significant decrease was pressures from the Iranian government, Turkish ministry sources have said, according to daily Hürriyet. The ministry is working to find new markets to offset the adverse effects of the European financial crisis particularly on international tourist arrivals in Turkey.
International tourist arrivals worldwide grew by 5 percent in the first four months of 2012, despite remaining economic uncertainties in some of the major outbound markets, the WTO said yesterday on its website.
Between January and April 2012, international tourist arrivals (overnight visitors) worldwide totaled 285 million, 15 million more than in the same period of 2011, the WTO said.
Asia and the Pacific and Africa show the best results; both record an 8 percent increase. The Americas recorded growth slightly above the world average with 6 percent. Europe registered 4 percent growth despite continuing economic volatility in the eurozone.