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Published on : Saturday, July 2, 2016
The tourism industry of Turkey is doing everything it can to try and bring about a change. From asking hotel operators to file bankruptcy case, to asking people to offer tourism prayers at mosques, they are leaving no stone unturned to turn it around.
If this is how things go on, tourism will More likely, tourism go down even more in Turkey, especially after what happened at Ataturk International Airport, another terrorist attack after many more in the last one year. Tour groups cruise ships, and other foreign visitors are scared to set foot on the land.
It is a huge blow to the economy of the country. 2 years back, in 2014, it was a different picture altogether. Turkey earned almost 5% of its economy that is 34 billion from Tourism, according to sources. From that, it came down to $31 billion in 2015.
The tourism industry is facing the worst of times. Adlihan Dere, President of the Chamber of Merchants and Craftsmen of Antalya said, “2016 became the worst year for tourism in the last 30 years.”
60% less tourists visited Antalya, also known as the Turquoise Coast, this year, as per reports. Over 1,300 hotels in the province have been closed down and put up for sale.
Because of the frequent terrorist attacks in the industry, many cruise lines, including Celebrity and Windstar have cancelled their visits to Turkey.
The problem is Turkey’s biggest problem is that it is fighting with two forces, Islamic State and Kurdish militants on two fronts.
Last year, 300 people have been killed and more than 1000 injured in Turkey because of 17 terrorist attacks by the Islamic state, the PKK and Kurdistan Freedom Falcons
For instance, in January, 10 people were killed by a suicide Bomber and among them, 8 were Germans. Not a single soul visited that area for weeks.
All the businesses related to Tourism are feeling the heat.
The owner of a shop Ortakoy Aktari, Tambi Yahia said, “Of course we are worried. As you can see there is nobody here. While last year was a little low for tourists, this year it’s 99% lower.”
What got even worse for Turkey was their fall out with Russia after November’s downing of a Russian fighter jet in Syria by Turkey. After Germany, Russians were the largest tourism market for Turkey. But after this debacle, Russia stopped its tourism relations with Turkey.
On Monday, Turkey sent a formal apology to Russia because of what had happened.
The secretary general of the association of Turkish Travel Agencies, Cetin Gurcun said, “The positive steps between Turkey and Russia will greatly benefit the tourism sector. Our expectation is that the Russian market is going to recover in 2017.”
The Turkish branch of TUI, were hoping for a truce with Russia and expecting better results during summer, but after the terrorist attack on Tuesday, they are concentrating on next year.
According to Can Kahvecioglu, the manager of a hotel in Kas, on the southeastern coast, the terrorists attacks are the reason for the falling business.
He said, “April and May are the months that mainly see European, Australian, Canadian hikers, cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts. I can say that it was zero this year. Beaches, bars, streets are quiet now.”