New York, NY (July 7, 2009) "“ On the heels of several positive announcements concerning new tourism infrastructure and expansion plans, Turkey has even more positive news: more American travelers visited Turkey from January-April 2009 than in the same period in 2008.

Turkey "“ which recently saw the opening of the $1.4 billion Mardan Palace, the most expensive hotel in Europe "“ continuesto weather the worldwide economic storm by showing signs of a strong tourism industry. Other indicators include Turkish Airlines' intention to purchase over 100 planes in the coming few years.

Though the increase in U.S. visitation was slight "“ 106,903 in January-April 2009 versus 104,374 in January-April 2009, anincrease of 2.4 percent "“ the increase comes at a time when almost every other major European tourism destination has seen declines in U.S. visitation. The numbers are also encouraging as Turkey headed into its main tourism season of June through September.

The year-over-year gain can be seen as all the more impressive due to the time periods being compared. Experts generally point to September/October 2008 "“ which of course lies between the dates being compared in these new tourism figures "“ as the months when the current recession came to the forefront and Americans markedly reigned in spending.

"We are very satisfied with the increase in U.S. travelers," said Hasan Zongur, director for Turkish Culture and Tourism inNew York. "Turkey has such an eclectic array of experiences to offer American travelers "“ culture, cuisine, beaches and, of course, thousands of years of history as one of the cradles of civilization. In light of the economy, we feel that theseincremental gains are indicators of big things to come as Turkey continues to emerge as an attractive vacation option for American travelers."

About Turkey
Turkey is a modern nation with a captivating blend of antiquity and contemporary and of East and West. The cradle of civilization and center of world history today stands as one of the fastest-growing tourism destinations in the world. Turkey was the site of the first human settlement; the seat of the Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman Empires; the birthplace of Homer and the last home of the Virgin Mary, just to name a few. Today Turkey, with its spectacular coastline, majestic mountains, cosmopolitan cities and quaint villages is one of the world's most fascinating destinations.

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