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Turkey’s Tourism Income May Drop 12 Percent

Turkey’s tourism income may decrease by 12 percent this year from last year unless the required measures are taken, according to Detur CEO Firuz Bağlıkaya, who will run for the presidency of the country’s leading tourism association, the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), in December.

To overcome losses and to improve Turkey’s image abroad amid escalating violent occurrences, destination-based publicity campaigns should be launched rather than campaigns for the whole country, Bağlıkaya said, adding that tour operators that have recently faced reservation cancelations should be supported.

Turkey’s net tourism income financed around 53 percent of the country’s current account deficit at $46.5 billion in 2014. However, with the rising geopolitical risks and Russia’s economic problems, Turkey’s tourism income regressed by 13.8 percent in the second quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of 2014 to $7.73 billion.

Income from tourism was $4.87 billion in the first quarter of 2015, marking a modest rise of 1.3 percent from the same period last year.

Bağlıkaya said Turkey’s overall tourism income was likely to be around or below $30 billion this year, lower than the targeted $35 billion.

“Tourism income dropped by 8 percent in the first six months. We don’t see better figures in the second half,” he said, adding that many hotels have needed to cut their prices.

“We may see a decrease of around 10-12 percent in tourism income this year,” Bağlıkaya said, adding that next year may be under threat “unless required measures are taken.”