The number of visitors and tourism revenue in Turkey decreased during the first quarter because of the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, officials statistics showed Thursday.

The number of visitors declined 67.83% to 718,097 in March, compared to a year ago, according to Turkey’s Culture and Tourism Ministry.

Foreign visits for the quarter stood at 4,238,644, representing a 22.11% drop, said the Turkish Security General Directorate and the Turkish Statistical Institute (TurkStat).

Visits by Turks who reside abroad dropped 14.41% to 1,213,356 in the quarter.

The number of all visitors in March was 968,537, a 64.73% drop compared to year-on-year. It was 5.4 million in the January-March period, a 20.52% drop.

Tourism revenue dropped 11.4% to $4.1 billion in the first quarter when Turkey saw the highest number of visitors from Bulgaria, Germany and Georgia. The most visited cities were Istanbul, Edirne and Antalya.

Turkey took precautions within days after the first cases of the novel coronavirus were detected, while the first steps in Europe began more than five weeks later.

Turkey registered 93 more deaths Thursday from the coronavirus in the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 3,174.

The total number of confirmed cases surged to 120,204 as 2,615 more people tested positive for the virus, according to Health Minister Fahrettin Koca.

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