The number of foreign tourists visiting Istanbul plummeted 16 percent between January and February this year, official data from the Istanbul Culture and Tourism Directorate showed on March 7.
Istanbul experienced a year-on-year plunge in foreign arrivals by 19.2 percent in January and 12.5 percent in February.
More than 1.1 million foreigners visited the city, with tourists from Germany, Iran
and Iraq being the top three sources.
They were followed by Russia
with 4 percent of the share in total arrivals, the U.K. with 3.7 percent, Ukraine
with 3.6 percent, Saudi Arabia and France with 3.4 percent each, the Netherlands with 2.8 percent and the U.S. with 2.6 percent.
While the share of Arab countries in total arrivals rose from 11 percent in 2011 to 22 percent in 2016, the arrivals from these countries also saw a 12 percent decrease in the first two months of 2017 compared to the same period of the previous year.
The number of foreign arrivals to Istanbul decreased 26 percent in 2016 compared to the previous year, making it the steepest plunge in the last 16 years, due to a number of reasons, of which mainly were security concerns.