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Terrorism Takes Toll on France, Turkey Tourism

turkey_flagFrance and Turkey are seeing tourism numbers dwindle as terrorism strikes this and last year have taken a bite out of one of their largest markets, according to the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC).

Turkey appears to be the country posting the largest losses with data indicating that bookings for the September-December period are down by 52 percent compared to the same period last year. Arrivals slumped by 15 percent in the August 2015-July 2016 period year-on-year.

At the same time, the militant attacks in Paris, Brussels and Nice have resulted in lower demand for travel to Europe with bookings for the September-December period in France dropping by 20 percent.

France_flagsIndicatively, France’s travel and tourism sector will contribute a mere 1.1 percent to GDP in 2016, down from a previous forecast of 2.9 percent with the number of foreign tourists dwindling in the second quarter. Tourist traffic to France fell by 5.4 percent from August 2015 to July 2016 compared to the same period last year.

“The Paris incident did have an impact because it’s the first point of entry to Europe for a lot of Asian and North American travelers,” WTTC President David Scowsill, told Reuters.

In neighboring Turkey, meanwhile, the failed coup and a series of attacks have turned tourists way. A leading economic provider, the tourism sector’s contribution to GDP is estimated to shrink by 3.2 percent this year.

On a brighter note, the global travel and tourism sector has shown resilience overall and is forecast at growing grow by 3.1 percent in 2016, driven for the most part by growing numbers of travelers from China and India. According to Scowsill, Asian vacationers who usually opt for Australia, chose Europe this year instead.

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