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Worse Than Expected: Turkish Tourism in Tatters Due to Security Concerns

© Sputnik / Vladimir Vyatkin / Go to the mediabankRussian tourists in Antalya
Russian tourists in Antalya - Sputnik International
In 2016, Turkey's tourism sector may suffer much greater losses than the country's authorities had previously anticipated, according to the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News

Police officers install security barriers at the historic Sultanahmet district, which is popular with tourists, after an explosion in Istanbul, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016 - Sputnik International
Turkey's Tourism Tumbles: Terrorism, Kurdish Situation Take Toll on Travel
For Turkey's tourism sector, this year will be even worse than the "worst case scenario" that was predicted earlier, the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News reported, referring to Davut Cetin, head of the Antalya Chamber of Trade and Industry.

The newspaper quoted him as saying that due to a recent series of terror attacks in Turkey, the number of Russian tourists has dropped to almost zero over the course of this year and a significant drop in the number of arrivals from Europe is expected, especially Germany.

"We are at a point which is much worse than what we had earlier predicted in our worst case scenario," he pointed out.

He was echoed by Yusuf Hacisuleyman, head of the Mediterranean Tourist Hoteliers’ Association, who said that "they predicted a loss of 8 billion dollars in revenue in their previous scenario, assuming a predicted loss of around 4 million tourists" after Ankara's downing of a Russian warplane in November 2015.

"With the addition of the expected losses from the European market, we have now revised our potential revenue losses to 12 billion dollars," he said.

Cetin, for his part, noted that a whole array of hotels will be closed in Turkey this summer, and that about 100,000 job losses are expected in Antalya alone.

According to him, the tourism sector-related problems "have already started to spillover into other sectors," mainly the agriculture sector; the losses are due to become more visible by May.

Russian tourists in Antalya - Sputnik International
Paying the Price: Turkey Shot Down Its Tourism Along With Russian Su-24
Earlier, the German newspaper Die Zeit reported that the outflow of tourists from Turkey in January and February of 2016 can be compared to the reduction in the number of tourists for the entire past year.

Eleven terrorist attacks have taken place in Turkey this year, with the latest act of terror occurring in central Istanbul on March 19. At the time, a powerful car blast ripped through the city's busy shopping area, popular with tourists and locals, killing at least five people and injuring 36 more.

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