Just five months after the Istanbul suicide bombing incident that killed 10 people, Turkey once again succumbed to another terror attack last Wednesday. This time, the Ataturk airport in the capital city was the target with 42 people killed. No group has claimed responsibility for the bombing but authorities believe Isis is behind it.
In the aftermath of this recent bombing, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed that no terror attack will divide his country. He added the act is not Islamic as the attackers had no regard for faith or values.
These terror incidents has been a big blow to Turkey’s tourism industry, a large contributor to the national economy. Each year, an estimated 39.4 million people visit Turkey, considered to be the world’s sixth most popular tourist destination. The Turkish Investment Support and Promotion Agency also noted that the tourism industry in the country has grown 200 percent in the past decade.
Effects on Tourism
Unfortunately with this latest suicide bombing incident, the country’s tourism sector has been badly affected. Major players predict a drop in tourist arrival by at least 40 percent this year. Latest statistics show that the number of Russians visiting Turkey has dropped by 95 percent while Russian president Vladimir Putin telling his citizens to holiday in other countries instead.
With regards to other nationalities, tourists from Great Britain and German have also dropped by a third. Authorities are not advising people who have booked for holidays in Turkey to cancel their trips. They pointed out that with no official warning against travel to Turkey’s tourist areas, those who will decide to cancel their holidays will not be refunded nor can they claim insurance for “disinclination to travel.”
Earlier this year in January, a 28-year-old Syrian national detonated a bomb in Istanbul’s main sightseeing area known as the Saltanahmet district killing 10 people, mostly German tourists. The suicide bomber claimed to be a member of the Islamic State or Isis. Although the area was not packed at that time, groups of tourists were in the vicinity exploring the sites. Germans make up a large chunk of Turkey’s frequent visitors.
So far, eight suicide bombings have occurred in Turkey this 2016 alone. These incidents have claimed the lives of 140 people in total.