Turkish tourism suffers immediate fallout from suicide bombing

Published January 14th, 2016 - 08:00 GMT

Turkish hotel cancellations have begun to pour in following this week's suicide bombing in Istanbul which killed 10 Germans, tourism officials said on Wednesday.

"For now we are just receiving individual cancellations but we believe that in the following days group cancellations will start very intensively," Yakup Dinler, chief of the Tourist Hoteliers Association in the Turkish region of Cappadocia, was quoted as saying by the Dogan news agency.

He noted cancellations were affecting reservations planned as far ahead as August, the peak holiday season.

"I see 2016 as a lost year. Germany is the country which has sent us most of the tourists in 2015," Dinler said.

Cappadocia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in central Turkey, is popular with tourists for its natural beauty, mountains and underground caves, as well as its rich history from the early years of Christianity.

Turkey's tourism sector has been hit hard in recent months, in part because of renewed violence in the country.

However, events in Russia have also caused problems. Russians are the second largest group of tourists in the country - behind Germans.

A combination of economic decline in Russia and a worsening row between Moscow and Ankara, related to the Turkish downing of a Russian jet near the Syrian border in November, has dramatically reduced the number of tourists coming from that country.

Kemal Pazarbasi, chief of the Association of Tourist Hotels and Investors in the Turkish western coastal city of Canakkale, also voiced concern in the Dogan report for the year ahead, saying clients were now seeing the country as a "risky destination."

 


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