Turkey’s Tourism Affected By Ongoing Unrest

Tourism in Turkey has been affected by the spreading violent clashes between protesters and the police across the country, Turkish Today’s Zaman reported Wednesday.

Over 30 percent of hotel reservations have been postponed or cancelled, mainly in Istanbul, the report quoted the Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TUROB) in Turkey as saying.

TUROB’s chief said “the tourists are bothered by the tear gas. And if this continues, the cancellations will rise.”

Meanwhile, the business sector also showed its concern about the worsening situation in many Turkish cities.

“The latest protests in Turkey have had an impact on the business or vacation trip plans of many local and foreign people in the mid-term. We have seen such cancellations by both our local and foreign guests, especially for this June,” Can Goktas, sales and marketing director of the Ciragan Palace Kempinski, told reporters Wednesday.

Turkey’s tourism sector has called for both the protesters and the police to calm down to prevent further damage to the image of the country.

The European Union and U.S. Embassy to Turkey have both issued warnings to its citizens in Turkey about potential violence.

The protests started a week ago as a sit-in at Gezi Park in Istanbul against redevelopment plans of a city square and later turned into massive demonstrations against the government across the country.