NORWAY: Turkey's tourist industry is in serious trouble, and the consequences of the increasing insecurity in the country will be felt next year, when tourists fail to come. Travel agencies across Europe who have their customers best interest in mind, are now starting to drop Turkey as a charter destination for sunbathing Europeans.
The travel agency Apollo has decided not to send a single charter flight to Turkey next summer.
- I think I've never seen such a big loss of tourism that is happening now with Turkey. In the record year of 2013 almost 400,000 Norwegians travelled there - next year the figure is under 45,000.
- I hope this is a trend that will be reversed in the long term, Apollo Chairman Erik Haug said in a statement.
He confirmed that Apollo is not going to offer charter flights to Turkey next summer, but in return increases the capacity of the core areas of Greece and Croatia.
The massive loss of tourist to Turkey is due to several terrorist attacks combined with political unrest. Tourists are seeking places they perceive as safer. The shortfall has already had major consequences internally in Turkey, as many hotels and restaurants have lost much of its customer base. Also Turkish Airlines has made it necessary to put dozens of aircraft out of circulation.
- It goes without saying that such a loss in tourism is felt. Especially when half of the Englishmen and the Germans are absent, says informasjonsshef Elisabeth Larsen-Vonstedt in Ving Norway.
The travel agency Ving also reduced the capacity to Turkey in 2016, and downsizes with an additional 20 percent the coming summer.
- We have an ambition to sell 16,000 trips, and I think that will go smoothly. Our hotels in Turkey are well-liked, and there is still a customer base, although it is greatly reduced, says Larsen-Vonstedt, who is offering direct flights from Oslo, Stavanger, Bergen and Trondheim.
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