Foreign visitors to Turkey rise 23.5 pct in Sept

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ISTANBUL, Oct 23 (Reuters) The number of foreign visitors to Turkey rose 23.5 per cent year-on-year in September, the Turkish Statistics Institute said today, signalling a continued recovery in the crucial tourist industry.

Some 2.8 million people visited the country in September, still a high season month in Turkey.

The tourism sector, an important source of foreign earnings which helps offset a large current account deficit, has seen a recovery this year after being hit hard in 2006 by an outbreak of bird flu and a series of bomb attacks.

Separatist violence has escalated once again in recent months and tension over a possible anti-rebel incursion by Turkish troops into northern Iraq could hurt the industry again.

Third quarter tourism revenue data are due on October 30. In the second quarter, revenues rose just 1 per cent year-on-year despite a strong rise in visitor numbers as operators said Turkey was failing to attract high-spending visitors.


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