Turkey’s Tourism Tumbles: Terrorism, Kurdish Situation Take Toll on Travel

Turkey’s Tourism Tumbles: Terrorism, Kurdish Situation Take Toll on Travel © AP Photo/ Lefteris Pitarakis

07:59 21.03.2016(updated 08:29 21.03.2016) Get short URL

An ongoing wave of terrorist attacks in Turkey and the political standoff between Moscow and Ankara have prompted tens of thousands of tourists worldwide to steer clear of the country, causing huge financial losses for its tourist industry, according to the Wall Street Journal.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — According to The Wall Street Journal, the number of bookings for 2016 are down 40 percent in comparison with 2015, while hundreds of Turkish hotels have been put up for sale due low occupancy rates.

The tourism industry accounts for over four percent of Turkey’s gross domestic product and employs about seven percent of the country’s working population, according to the media outlet.

Turkey managed to triple its tourism-related revenues between 2001 and 2014, which reached a record $34.3 billion, the publication reads.

However, the situation has changed dramatically as the security situation declined amid Daesh jihadist group (banned in Russia) and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) separatist growing violence. Turkish cities have been hit by numerous terrorist attacks in recent months, with both Islamist and Kurdish militant groups allegedly responsible.

Tourism continued declining after Russia banned organized travel of its tourist groups to the republic in the wake of the November 24 downing of a Russian Su-24 attack aircraft by Turkey over alleged airspace violation.

According to the Turkish Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the country has lost some 20 percent of Russian tourists and almost 10 percent of holidaymakers from Europe in 2015.

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