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Turkish Lira’s Nosedive a Blow to Tourism, Economy

The Turkish lira’s record low in the first week of the year has come on top of extremist attacks, a failed and fatal coup, and a diplomatic row with Russia, to take a toll on the country’s tourism, a driving force of the economy as well as a strong foreign currency earner.

At the same time, the developments in the neighbouring country are expected to impact Greek incoming tourism as well, with sector insiders speaking of a decline in the number of Turkish travelers to Greece.

Turkish nationals, they say, will prefer to stay home for both their holidays and investments. Turkey is a major market for Greek tourism accounting for 4.9 percent of all arrivals.

Areas expected to see fewer Turkish tourists include the northern Greece or border regions of Kavala, Alexandroupolis, Thessaloniki and the Eastern Aegean islands, already suffering from the refugee crisis.

“Political developments in Turkey adversely affect the development of the [Greek] economy, particularly after a significant drop in foreign tourist arrivals by 32 percent in the first eight months of 2016,’’ a Greek Tourism Confederation (SETE) research institute report released last week said.

Trading of the Turkish lira was around 3.79 per US dollar with analysts saying  it will weaken further in coming months as long as it remains dependent on the political situation there.

Some 36.2 million people visited Turkey in 2015, making it the sixth most visited destination in the world, leaving behind some 31.5 billion dollars in tourism-related revenue.

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