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Turkey, a country full of rich history and beauty, a country that houses one of the world’s seven wonders (Krystek, 2012), has been going through tragic events in the recent years, such as terrorist attacks and political confusion. Although Turkey was once a very popular tourist destination, with reaching their all-time highest tourist visits in July of 2015, the amount of tourist visits to Turkey have declined a substantial “3.96% year-on-year to 1.59 million in March of 2017 from 1.65 million a year earlier” (Turkey Tourist Arrivals”, 2017). The current events taking place in Turkey are making foreign visitors shy away from traveling there which affects the country in many ways. This paper will explain how the decline in tourist visits in Turkey have impacted the country and what Turkey is doing to overcome this significant problem of theirs.
Turkey, due to recent increase in terrorist attack and uncertainty in political stability, has been hit by a decline in their tourist visits. This decline caused Turkey’s GDP to decrease by 1% (“Turkey’s Economy Hit by Decline in Tourism”, 2017). It’s important to note that the tourists visits that took place in Turkey helped the country’s economy. When foreign visitors travel to Turkey, they contribute to the economy not only through hotel and restaurant industries, but through accommodation, travel, accessories, souvenirs, and numerous other industries. Businesses, especially small businesses, are forced to sell their goods for half the amount and rather than making profit, they’re just trying to earn their costs back. With such a big decline in the tourists, as is evident through the decrease in the GDP, the economy is under threat of failing because of minimal business.
However, the government of Turkey as well as many industries took certain measures to tackle the tourism problem. For example, from the Turkish governmentthere was a payment of “a $6,000 (4,600 GBP) fuel subsidy per flight to airlines that fly into the Turkish Airports of Antalya, Alanya, Dalaman, Bodrum, and Izmir airports” (Iain, 2016) and “a cabinet decision to offer subsidies for cruise tourism; an offer of $30 for each cruise passenger to companies who carry cruise tourists into Turkey” (“Turkish Government to Offer Subsidies to Cruisers”, 2017). These subsidies allowed the promotion of flights and vacations to the popular cities in Turkey.
Turkish Airlines and its public relations department pulled a smart move when they partnered up with the movie franchise Batman v. Superman to promote flights to the destinations where the movie was filmed (Loughrey, 2016). This campaign was seen internationally and brought a lot of attention to the airline company which in turn also brought attention to a prospective vacation in Turkey. Turkish Airlines, eager in gaining tourists and not letting their company fall with the economy, launched direct flights from Istanbul to many cities and states within the United States, including Miami. (“Miami Dade Airport”, 2016). Flights that were overly expensive before due to multiple transits were now sliced down by half which attracted many tourists.
As can be seen, due to the non-stop tragedies taking place in Turkey, a country that was once one of the most popular vacation spots is experiencing a very impacting decline in tourists visits. Although the government and some airline companies are taking small measures to increase the amount of tourists in the country, it isn’t sufficient enough. The government of Turkey needs to come to a realization that the tourism industry affects many other industries in Turkey, and a quick and reliable solution soon needs to be found to address this issue. From the detailed research, one can understand that Turkish Airlines has brought more efforts into increasing the tourism industry in Turkey again than the government itself.
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