Regional authorities in Muğla have announced that tourist numbers are down so far this year, and are blaming it on the economic crisis in Europe. But some nationalities are on the increase.

As the biggest drop is in tourists from Israel we think there may be a flaw in the argument somewhere!

However, apparently Russia, Holland and France have seen an increase in tourists so far this year, so the tourism authorities are not happy.

Pity they don’t read Fethiye Times as we think we could give them some ideas to raise the number of visitors. They say numbers in January were down 74% on previous year – perhaps they should focus on getting more international flights into Dalaman at that time?

By May the numbers were only 13% down and this lessened to a 6% decrease in June, so maybe this month’s figures will be on a par with last year if the trend continues?

British Visitors Down

British visitors for the first six months of 2012 are 60,000 down on last year.

The actual figures for British tourists in the first six months of the year are: 2010 – 594k; 2011 – 522k; 2012 – 462.5k.

But as we all know schools in Britain haven’t closed for summer holidays yet so the situation could still improve.

We can’t quite believe they are complaining about lack of tourists from Israel after a Turkish aid ship was sunk and sparked a major political incident.

In 2010 7,828 Israelis visited resorts in Muğla.

This went down to 1,245 in 2011 and so far this year a mere 631 Israelis have arrived (we think they’re very brave!).

Russian and Swedish Tourist Numbers Up

Finally, despite depressing headline about fall in tourist numbers, the article’s final paragraph includes some healthy increases in visitors from Russia and Sweden.

The most popular place for Russians to visit is Antalya with Muğla coming second.

They don’t give figures for Russian visitors, but we were in Antalya last weekend and the Russians are everywhere. Meanwhile the Swedes would seem to have discovered Muğla with a vengeance.

In the first six months of 2010 a mere 10k Swedes entered Muğla; last year over the same period this had risen to 15k, and so far this year 25k Swedes have arrived.

So it actually isn’t all bad news and maybe will prompt the authorities to look more closely at how they market their resorts, and how they ensure that visitors have a good time.