Turkey’s booming tourism sector takes a downturn, affects economy as well

Published on : Friday, February 24, 2017

Turkey’s booming tourism sectorIn the wake of a series of terrorist attacks and domestic political turmoil, Turkey’s previously booming tourism sector got gravely hit, Bernama News reported.


Terrorist attacks – 400 in just 2015 from an average of 70 annually between 2010 and 2014 – resulted in a more than 30 percent fall in the number of European tourists who used to make up over half of the visitors.


The inflow of another important cohort, Russian tourists fell dramatically due to sanctions, including restrictions on charter flights and sales of travel packages.


The dwindling number of visitors has hurt connecting sectors, chopping off about one percentage point of GDP from the country’s growth in 2016, according to a recent IMF study.


Just before 2016, Turkey grew into one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The thriving tourism brought in revenues equivalent to 3.7 percent of GDP and generated 600,000 jobs, or 2.3 percent of total employment. Another million jobs sprung up in related sectors, including restaurant and leisure industries.


The turn came in 2016, with a sharp rise in terrorist attacks coupled with political uncertainty.


According to staff estimates, a 10 percent decline in foreign arrivals translates into a 0.3–0.5 percent fall in GDP.


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