Turkey’s income from tourism surges in Q2

ANKARA (Reuters) – Turkey’s income from tourism, a key source of revenue as the current account deficit widens, surged 44.8 percent in the second quarter to $3.269 billion, official data showed yesterday. Tourism revenues for the same period last year were hit by the war and its immediate aftermath in neighboring Iraq. The State Statistics Office (DIE) said second-quarter income consisted of $2.814 billion from foreign visitors and $455 million from expatriate Turks visiting their homeland. The importance of tourism revenues has been heightened by data showing Turkey’s current account deficit widened to $6.991 billion in the first four months of 2004. Turkey’s tourism income totaled $13.2 billion last year. The DIE said the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey climbed 44.7 percent to 6.726 million in the first half of 2004. Nearly 14 million foreign tourists visited Turkey in 2003. Total spending by Turkish tourists in the second quarter of 2004 stood at $620 million, 38.4 percent up from the same period last year, a poll by the DIE said.