Foreign visitors to Istanbul down in 2016 amid security concern

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Foreign tourist arrivals in Istanbul dropped by 26 percent year-on-year in 2016, the lowest in 16 years for the Turkey’s top destination.

Some 9.2 million foreign tourists visited Istanbul last year, as against 12.4 million in 2015, according to new data from the Istanbul Culture and Tourism Directorate on its website.

The month of June saw the single largest decline at 35 percent, while January was the only month to experience an increase at a meager 0.1 percent.

Germans were the largest source of tourists for Istanbul in 2016 with a contribution of 10.5 percent, despite a dip of 22.5 percent over the previous year.
The arrival of U.S. tourists fell by 43.2 percent, followed by Iraqis (43.1 percent) and Russians (39.1 percent), the figures show.

For Chinese, their number also dwindled by as high as 45.4 percent, from 284,000 to 155,000.

For the past one and a half years, Turkey has been hit by more than 30 bombing attacks, in which over 400 people were killed.

In Istanbul alone, the past year has witnessed five major terror attacks, including a shooting attack on a night club in the metropolis on the New Year day which left 39 killed, among whom 25 were foreigners.

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