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Travel

Tourism in Turkey in decline

Income from tourism plummeted 32.7 per cent in the hird quarter of the year, government agency Turkstat reported on Monday, as the key foreign currency earning sector is in crisis amid terror attacks and a coup attempt.

The July-September result comes on top of a devastating second quarter, which saw revenues down by some 35 per cent. The number of foreign visitors to Turkey dropped 31.9 per cent in the first nine months of the year, the tourism ministry said last week.

Even with the decline, foreigners make up more than 70 per cent of tourism revenues. Turkey has seen a wave of terrorist attacks by Islamic State, including at the main Ataturk international airport in Istanbul. The country is also facing renewed conflict with Kurdish militants in the south-east, and armed groups have set off bombs in Istanbul and Ankara.

In July, a faction within the military attempted a coup against the government which failed. The government has since imposed sweeping emergency laws which have seen dozens of media outlets shut down, tens of thousands of civil servants dismissed and 35,000 arrested. The Turkish lira has been facing pressure compared to the dollar and euro, and is near record lows versus both major currencies. The central bank has announced measures to ease access to foreign currency after lowering interest rates steadily this year, also easing access to credit.

at/ks (dpae)