Friday, 15 January 2016

Pressure on 'safe' destinations mounts after Istanbul bombing; attack 'likely to lead to travel restrictions'

A PREDICTED shift in tourism to ‘safe’ destinations following the latest fresh terrorist attack in #Turkey could de-stabilize the market, industry experts have warned.

A suicide bomb attack on Tuesday in a tourist area of #Istanbul killed 10 people – at least nine of whom were German tourists. It came four days after suspected Islamic terrorist’s stabbed three tourists at a hotel in Egypt’s Red Sea area.

Approximately 2.5 million British citizens travel to Turkey every year on holiday. Operators fear the incidents could lead to too much demand for Spain and Greece – destinations already experiencing higher sales following previous incidents.

Industry consultant, Andy Cooper, a former head of the Federation of Tour Operators, said: ‘The danger is it that puts huge pressure on Spain, and you end up with a squeeze on beds, prices go up, and capacity runs short.’

Prior to the attacks, specialist operators had announced plans to diversify into Greece and Turkey.

Countries are likely to impose further restrictions on travel to Turkey following the murders in Istanbul's tourist district, says Kinda Chebib, a senior analyst at Euromonitor. ‘The explosion at Istanbul's most prominent tourist attraction is expected to impact negatively on inbound flow to Turkey on the short-to-medium term. The fact that the explosion occurred in the deep centre of Istanbul and that tourists from Germany and Norway were among the casualties is expected to result in further travel restrictions and flights banned towards the destination in the coming days.

‘Major source European markets are very likely to take preventive measures so as to protect their citizens traveling to the popular outbound market.’

Russia's state tourism agency had already recommended a boycott of Turkey after the country shot down a Russian fighter jet in November. So far, the British Foreign Office has not changed its travel advice for Turkey and the German government is not advising its citizens to avoid the destination, but it has issued new advice urging them to stay away from crowded places in the country.

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Picture Credit:">Istiklal Avenue, Istanbul (Turkey)</a> via <a href="">photopin</a> <a href="">(license)

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