Summer bookings are significantly down after a year of terrorist attacks, and some tour operators have pulled out of the country. We ask an expert to assess the risks
In previous years, if there was one thing that could put you off having a summer holiday in Turkey, it was the crowds. People tell you that spring or autumn are the best times to go – the temperature is soothingly balmy, and you can find a spot at the beach/ancient ruins/restaurant without too much trouble. But this year, big crowds are unlikely to be a problem at any time.
The country has been rocked by terrorist attacks over the past 12 months, with several particularly deadly bombings this year alone, and unsurprisingly tourism is being affected. According to one survey, visitor arrivals in February were more than 10% down on the same time last year. Summer is looking worse. Thomas Cook says there has been a “marked shift in demand, with significantly lower bookings” to Turkey. The travel company Tui reported a 40% drop in summer holiday bookings. According to the market research company GfK, overall there has been a 32% drop in the number of summer bookings to Turkey (last year, bookings to the country grew 11%). Cruise liners have cancelled stops in Turkey, tour operators have cut capacity and some, such as Mark Warner, have pulled out of the country altogether.