Turkish gov’t set to extend fuel support for charter flights in 2017 in bid to boost tourism
ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency
AA photoThe Turkish government’s fuel support for charter flights will be extended in 2017 amid a continuing loss in foreign tourist arrivals, Turkish Culture and Tourism Minister Nabi Avcı has said.
At an event organized by the Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB) on Nov. 25, he said a relevant cabinet decision would soon be released.
“We will keep offering fuel support for charter flights in 2017 by expanding its scope both in quality and quantity. The cabinet decision will be issued very soon,” he said, adding that 2016 was a harsh year for the sector, mainly due to a series of bombings.
A $6,000 fuel subsidy for each airplane carrying tourists to certain airports in Turkey was earlier extended from June to September.
“I, however, believe there is some exaggeration in the negative reports published abroad about Turkey’s security conditions. Terrorism is a global problem and unfortunately there were terrorist attacks in Brussels and Paris over the last years as well as in Istanbul and Ankara. The attacks in Turkey have been portrayed in a much more negative manner than the attacks in Europe,” the minister said.
TUI CEO Friedrich Joussen said Turkey was stable in terms of its security, but there is a general deterioration in perceptions of Turkey due to recent terror attacks.
“This has unfortunately caused potential tourists to cancel their Turkey plans. We need to be very active in changing this perception for the better,” he said, adding that the company had hosted more than 1 million tourists in Turkey throughout the year despite the problems.
AKTOB President Yusuf Hacısüleyman said 2016 may have been the most complicated year the Turkish tourism sector had ever experienced.
“This is now the time for us to take required lessons from the difficulties we faced this year,” he said.