Number of Saudi tourists in Turkey drops sharply

The number of Saudi tourists coming to Turkey has dropped 17 percent in the period between January and July this year, London based pan-Arab daily Asharq Al-Awsat reported on Friday, citing official figures.

The number of tourists from Saudi Arabia decreased to 370,265 from 445,875 in the same period last year, the daily said, citing a report released by Turkey’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

Riyadh-Ankara relations have been sour for some time over Turkey’s support for Qatar and the murder of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, among other issues.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has launched a campaign to discourage its citizens from travelling to Turkey.

The kingdom's media has designated Turkey as an unsafe location due to rising petty crime aimed at Saudi citizens and gun violence, while the Saudi embassy in Ankara has also warned of rising violence aimed at Saudi citizens.