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Published on : Wednesday, October 5, 2016
The tourism sector in Turkey has been hard hit and even before the year ends, there is news pouring in about the huge losses incurred by the industry. According to estimates by the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (Türsab), Turkey might lose between £2bn and £2.5bn in tourism revenue by the end of this year.
A number of factors has led to the dismal performance shown by tourist sector in the country. Bomb attacks, unrest in the south-east of the country and a violent coup attempt followed by mass arrests during a state of emergency have deterred tourists from visiting the region. This has led to laying of staff by hard-hit businesses.
In June, suspected Islamic State (Isis) militants killed 45 and injured many more in an attack on Istanbul’s main Atatürk airport. The situation worsened still further when Turkey was hit by a coup on 15 July, in which at least 240 people were killed.
According to the Türsab, the hotel occupancy rates in the usually busy months of July and August dropped dramatically by 50%.
Turkey was already suffering from a struggling tourism economy when Russian tourists boycotted Turkey over a downed fighter jet. Russian visitors to Antalya decreased by 95%. Popular resorts, such as Fethiye, Kemer or Belek, also suffered heavy losses.
The slow recovery in tourism has really hit those small traders and businessmen hard who depend solely on tourists income. This has led to bickering amongst themselves to attract the small number of tourists that frequent the country.
The Turkish government has recently announced that it would come up with measures to help its troubled tourism sector get back on its feet.Fuel subsidies for flights into five popular seaside holiday destinations, such as Antalya, İzmir, or Dalaman, were recently extended until the end of the year. However, further measures are yet to be announced.