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Turkey tourism

Turkey attracts more foreign visitors

Unal Basusta  Jul 08, 2008

ISTANBUL, Turkey (eTN) - Turkey has seen a significant increase in the number of foreign visitors in the last year, new figures have revealed.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), the country has recently seen a double-digit increase in international tourist arrivals.

According to official data cited by Reuters, the European country attracted 2.75 million foreign leisure travelers in May.

This is more than 20 percent up on the figure recorded 12 months earlier and means that demand for rental accommodation will have gone up over this period.

If this trend continues during the rest of 2008, people who have bought property in tourism hotspots such as Antalya may be in line to collect much higher rental yields than last year.

The Mediterranean resort was flagged up as the most popular destination for foreign leisure travelers, as visitor numbers went up by more than a third.

Figures also showed that a quarter of all holidaymakers chose to spend time in Istanbul.

Meanwhile, tourism minister Ertugrul Gunay has stated that he wants annual visitor numbers to increase from 23 million in 2007 to more than 25 million this year.

This contributed to a worldwide rise of five percent between January and April 2008 when compared with the same time last year.

Francesco Frangialli, secretary general of UNWTO, has welcomed the findings and expressed optimism about the future performance of the global tourism sector.

He commented: "Given current circumstances we are cautious, although we remain positive for the overall industry perspectives in 2008."

Mr. Frangialli added that future demand will depend on how consumers respond to ongoing economic problems across the world.

Earlier this week, official figures revealed that gross domestic product in Turkey went up by 6.6 percent year-on-year between January and March 2008.

Turkey attracts more foreign visitors
Photo by Nelson Alcantara

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