A wave of terrorist attacks across Turkey in recent months has locals on edge and tourists steering clear of the country.
Summer travel bookings have plummeted, impacting hotels, shops, restaurants and the country’s economy.
CCTV America’s Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.
Tourism in Turkey drops 25 percent following terrorist attacksA wave of terrorist attacks across Turkey in recent months has locals on edge and tourists steering clear of the country. Summer travel bookings have plummeted, impacting hotels, shops, restaurants and the country's economy. CCTV America's Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.
Turkey has been devastated by a string of terrorist attacks since July, killing more then 200 people.
The two attacks in Istanbul, one in January, and another in March both targeted tourist locations and foreigners were among the fatalities.
It’s no surprise that Turkey’s tourism industry has been hit hard by these explosions. Tourists were seen fleeing with their luggage in Taksim Square after the latest bombing on Istiklal street, one of the country’s most famous shopping districts. Agencies received immediate cancellations.
The tourism industry had already been hurt by Turkey’s tensions with Russia after Ankara downed a Russian military jet last year. Moscow imposed sanctions that effectively banned tours to Turkey.
For an industry that accounts for around 11 percent of the country’s GDP, this shift could be financially devastating. Economists are forecasting a potential loss of $8 billion.
The government has been trying to ease concerns among travellers.
“Our Culture Ministry is working on long term structural precautions for the tourism industry,” Ahmet Davutoğlu, Turkish Prime Minster said.
Even with the measures the government is implementing, the greater challenge remains restoring a sense of security among tourists, especially Germans who are Turkey’s number one tourists and that will likely require Turkey see a prolonged period of peace.
Saruhan Hatipoglu on Turkey Economic troubles
CCTV America’s Rachelle Afukko spoke to Saruhan Hatipoglu. He is the CEO of BERI and CCTV Global Economics Analyst.