The number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey rose 23.3 percent year-on-year in March to 536,466, the State Statistics Institute said on Tuesday, May 15.
Turkey hopes the devaluation of the lira following a financial crisis in February that has wiped some 40 percent off the currency's value against the dollar will drive a surge in tourism revenue this year.
Turkey was forced to float the lira on February 22, abandoning a crawling currency peg that had been the centerpiece of a three-year IMF-backed disinflation program. The IMF is expected to give final approval later on Tuesday to a new package of loans to support reforms and end the crisis.
Economic officials are pinning their hopes for a recovery in the second half of the year on tourism and exports, which should gain from the weaker lira. Turkey hopes to attract 12 million tourists in 2001, up from just over 10 million last year. ― (Reuters, Ankara)
© Reuters 2001
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)