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Tourism fastest growing sector of Turkish economy

Wednesday, October 30
Tourism is the fastest growing sector in Turkey, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Omer Chelik said, Haber 7 TV channel reported on Monday.

According to him, Turkey's tourism sector is important from an economic viewpoint.

He added that the number of tourists in Turkey has increased by 10 times compared to the data for the nine months of 2012. Earlier, the head of the Turkish Tourism Association, Osman Ayik, said that the number of foreign tourists visiting Turkey will hit 38 million by late 2013.

According to him, the tourist flow is expected to be increased by eight percent in 2013 compared to the same period last year. He also stressed that Antalya is the most frequently visited spot by tourists among the Turkish cities registering 10 million. Turkey annually loses more than $10 billion because of illegal tourism, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies said earlier.

According to the association, tax evasion worth $15 billion takes place in Turkey every year resulting in a weakening of the economy. The association also reported that at present, illegal tourism is well developed in almost all regions of Turkey where unregistered tour firms operate.

According to the official statistics, Turkey's income from tourism increased by $1.6 billion reaching $5.8 billion in January -July 2013.

Tourism expenditure in the reporting period increased by $1 billion and amounted to $1.7 billion. (Trend)