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Rediff.com  » Business » Tour operators brace for hit after Turkey attack

Tour operators brace for hit after Turkey attack

June 30, 2016 11:48 IST

IMAGE: Passengers leave Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey's largest airport, after a suicide bomb attack. Photograph: Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images

This year the country is expecting 150,000 arrivals from India

Tour operators want the Turkish government to take urgent measures to bolster security as the terrorist attack at Istanbul airport could lead to cancellations of trips.

Turkey is growing as a popular destination for outbound travel from India in both the leisure and meeting and conference tour segments.

In 2015 130,000 Indians visited Turkey a growth of 10 per cent and this year the country is expecting 150,000 arrivals from India.

Wednesday's terror attack however has cast a shadow on travel plans.

About 200 members of the Outbound Tour Operators Association of India are because of travel to Turkey on a study tour in September and the association is seeking assurance of security from the Turkish government.

“Turkey is a growing destination for us and infact tour prices too have declined because of depreciation of the Turkish Lira.

"However, we have seen a fluctuation in demand over the last 12 months because of terrorist attacks.

"The attack on the Istanbul airport is a big negative and we want the government to take measures to improve security as our members are concerned about safety,” said OTOAI president Guldeep Singh Sahni.

But, not all share the same opinion.

Karan Anand, head, relationships, Cox & Kings, said, “Though Turkey is an important outbound market from India but, we do not see any impact as the summer season is over and the number of Indians travelling to Turkey at this point is minimal."

“Our teams at Thomas Cook India have been working in close coordination with our on-ground partners in Turkey; our customers in Istanbul are safe and we are in contact with them to ensure their safety and return back to their home cities.

"The repercussions of the attack on tourism will be felt briefly but is expected to pick up swiftly.

"While we did receive queries from our customers, we have received zero cancellations as of date; while a few prefer to wait and watch and if required defer their departure,” said Rajeev D. Kale, president & country head -- leisure travel, Thomas Cook.

IMAGE: Passengers leave Istanbul Ataturk, Turkey's largest airport, after a suicide bomb attack. Photograph: Defne Karadeniz/Getty Images

Aneesh Phadnis in Mumbai
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