August 12, 2016 / 5:24 PM / 3 years ago

Turkey to announce tourism-boosting steps in coming days

Tourists visit the Ottoman-era Sultanahmet mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, Turkey, July 18, 2016. REUTERS/Alkis Konstantinidis/File Photo

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Turkey will announce concrete measures to boost its beleaguered tourism industry within the coming days, Turkey’s tourism minister said at an industry event in Germany, following a sharp drop in tourists even before the recent coup attempt.

Tourism revenue in Turkey dropped 35.6 percent in the second quarter of this year, its sharpest fall in 17 years, amid increased security fears following a series of bomb attacks.

The failed coup in mid-July, which saw 240 people killed, further increases pressure on the country’s tourism sector, which contributes around 4.5 percent to Turkish gross domestic product.

“The tourism industry in particular depends on subsidies,” Nabi Avci said in Frankfurt, where he met with international tour operators, such as Thomas Cook (TCG.L) and TUI (TUIT.L).

“Concrete measures will be discussed in a dialogue with the industry and announced within the next days,” Avci added, declining to provide further details.

Turkey in April introduced fuel subsidies for flights to five of its tourist hotspots.

Airlines receive $6,000 per flight to Antalya, Alanya, Dalaman, Bodrum and Izmir, but the measure expires on Aug. 31 and carriers are demanding certainty over its future.

“We will work on seeing what else we can do, as we know how important this is for the industry,” Avci said, adding that he would also announce details on the airline subsidies over the next days.

Reporting by Tina Bellon

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