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Coup de grâce for Turkey tourist trade?

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 01:44

With a state of emergency now in force, Turkish hoteliers and retailers say they're feeling a severe pinch as an already weakened tourism industry takes another hit after last week's abortive coup attempt. Hayley Platt reports.

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Its beauty is undeniable. But the usually bustling area of Golden Horn Bay in Istanbul is virtually deserted. Last weekend's failed military coup, partly to blame. Security concerns and currency volatility pushing tourists away. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MANAGER AT THE CROWNE PLAZA HOTEL, ISTANBUL, METEHAN OZDEMIR, SAYING: "We were expecting so many Russian and Israeli people to visit us, but now we have lost them. And people from Iran and the Middle East are also afraid to come to Istanbul or Turkey. We're not happy." Turkey may have survived the attempted coup but the economic fallout could be much worse. The country has already seen visitor numbers tumble in recent months - including a fall in June of almost a third. And Euromonitor predicts the slide to continue throughout the rest of the year. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TOURIST FROM AZERBAIJAN, HAKIM, SAYING: "When I came before there were lots of people here, I mean it was really hard to walk in this area, it was really crowded, lots of people, but now you can see that there are very few people." Turkey's tourism sector hasn't fully recovered from a wave of earlier suicide bombings. (SOUNDBITE) (English) MARKET SHOP OWNER, KAMIL, SAYING: "Compared to like two or three years ago, it is like 50 percent less." This latest blow is likely to hurt Turkish Airlines and the country's budget airline Pegasus the most. Shares in those companies - already losing between 25 - 35 percent. Despite its obvious attractions, Turkey will need to reassure tourists it's safe to visit before many of them return.

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Coup de grâce for Turkey tourist trade?

Thursday, July 21, 2016 - 01:44