Turkey's tourism sector facing 'beyond worst case scenario' for 2016
Turkish police patrol with a police dog a day after a suicide bomb attack on Istiklal Street, a major shopping and tourist district, in central Istanbul, on March 20, 2016. (AFP/Yasin Akgul)
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Turkey’s tourism industry is set to see a 12-billion dollar loss in revenues this year, says a new report.
Business agents say 2016 has already been “much worse” than the predicted “worst case scenario.”
According to Turkey’s daily, Hurriyet, the current problems, which have risen amid escalating security concerns and a significant decrease in the number of Russian tourists, will likely impact other sectors, including the agriculture sector, and push up the unemployment rate across the country.
The head of the Antalya Chamber of Trade and Industry (ATSO), Davut Çetin, said the number of Russian tourists has almost zeroed over this year and they expected a significant drop in the number of arrivals from Europe, mainly from Germany, after a series of terror attacks which recently hit Turkey.
“We are at a point which is much worse than what we had earlier predicted in our worst case scenario,” Çetin said.
The report also quoted vice president of the organization and the head of the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers’ Association (AKTOB), Yusuf Hacısüleyman, as saying that the industry had predicted a loss of $8 billion in revenues in their previous scenario.
“With the addition of the expected losses from the European market, we have now revised our potential revenue losses to $12 billion,” he said one day before another terror attack in Istanbul, which killed at least four foreign nationals in central Istanbul on March 19.
He also noted that the number of European tourists may decline by almost half in 2016, adding that the number of Iranian tourists is also expected to decrease by 15,000 this year to 30,000 from around 45,000 last year.
Meanwhile, Çetin said many hoteliers would not open their hotels this year, and around 80,000-100,000 job losses are expected in Antalya alone.
Ankara saw a decline in the number of Russian tourists following Turkey’s November shooting of a Russian bomber on the Syrian border.
The country has witnessed rising insecurity over the past few years over deadly bomb attacks.
Turkey has witnessed at least five major bombing attacks since last July, when it launched a military campaign against militants of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in the southeastern border areas.
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