The latest terrorist strike at Instanbul’s Ataturk airport would result in a further decline of Indian tourist traffic to Turkey, which has already seen a significant fall this year.
“Turkey as a destination was really growing well from India through 2014 and 2015. In 2015 we had 130,000 visitors from India to Turkey. That was about a 15% growth over the year before,” said Sharat Dhall, President, Yatra.com.
Dhall said that since January this year there had been a very significant decline. “The destination is already declining at 20% from last year. And now with another unfortunate incident probably it would result in few more bookings dropping furhter….it would probably drop by another 10%,” said Dhall.
“There have been repeated terror attacks in Turkey this year inlcuding in Instanbul and Ankara where foreign tourists have been victims. It hasn’t been one-off thing. Such incident, obviously, have a very negative impact on foreign tourist travel and it will take a few months for the momentum to come back,” said Rajji Rai, former president of the Travel Agents Association of India.
“People who had been looking at Turkey have put a hold on it. We have consistently been seeing a drop in bookings this year to Turkey and with the current incident, we feel that there will be a further decline from Indian tourists,” said Dhall.
Indians travelling from Instanbul’s Ataturk airport had a close shave on Tuesday night as two flights to India departed two hours before the terror strike that killed 41 people. The attack occurred at around 10 pm Turkish time. “Turkish Airlines flights to Delhi and Mumbai departed Istanbul last night as scheduled. Both leave Istanbul at around 8 pm,” said an official.
No Indian carrier flies to Turkey but Turkish Airlines, the national carrier, has regular flights in and out of India.