German holiday bookings to Turkey recovering: Minister

German holiday bookings to Turkey recovering: Minister

BERLIN - Reuters
German holiday bookings to Turkey recovering: Minister

Backdropped by the Byzantine-era Hagia Sophia, one of Istanbul's main tourist attractions, a vendor waits for customers in the historic Sultanahmet district in Istanbul, near the site of Tuesday's explosion, Friday, Jan. 15, 2016. AP Photo

German travelers’ bookings for summer holidays in Turkey have started to recover and could bounce back from a hit they took after a suicide bombing in Istanbul earlier this year, Turkey’s tourism minister has said.

“We saw a strong recovery in March. We expect that we will recover the previous decline in April and May,” Culture and Tourism Minister Mahir Ünal told journalists at a news conference in Berlin on March 10.

Turkey is especially popular with German tourists, but has seen demand fall after a suicide bomber killed 12 Germans in Istanbul in January. Germany has long been the largest provider of tourists for Turkey, followed by Russia. 

Last week, German travel association DRV said German summer bookings for Turkey were down 40 percent year-on-year.

The government announced an action plan on Feb. 22 to support the sector. The package included a 255-million-Turkish-Lira ($87 million) grant and several mechanisms which will enable tourism firms to restructure their debts.