Is­tan­bul’s re­silience af­ter coup in Turkey

In June alone, tourism ar­rivals fell by 41 per cent to 2.4 mil­lion

The Star (Kenya) - - News World -

CHARLES KERICH/ Few cities ex­ist in the world that boast of a richer his­tory than Is­tan­bul, the an­cient, yet mod­ern city of Turkey.

The coun­try’s largest tourism des­ti­na­tion now ex­em­pli­fies Turkey’s re­cov­ery from the July 15 coup at­tempt that saw vis­i­tor num­bers sig­nif­i­cantly drop. In June, tourism ar­rivals fell by 41 per cent to 2.4 mil­lion.

In this one month alone, the worst in re­cent his­tory, the ar­rival num­bers were still higher than Kenya’s to­tal ar­rivals of 1.18 mil­lion for the whole of 2015. There are many lessons Kenya can learn to boost vis­i­tor ar­rival num­bers.

And with the coun­try mend­ing re- la­tions with Rus­sia, Is­tan­bul and other tourism des­ti­na­tion cities such as An­talya are pre­par­ing for a boom once again.

Cen­tral to the growth of Turk­ish tourism is the na­tional car­rier, Turk­ish Air­lines, which re­cently or­gan­ised a trip to Is­tan­bul for more than 100 jour­nal­ists from var­i­ous coun­tries. The air­line boasts of the largest num­ber of des­ti­na­tions, touch­ing down in 218 des­ti­na­tions in 108 coun­tries.

Chair­man Ilker Ayci an­nounced that the air­line will be­gin flights to Sey­chelles by the end of this month, to Dar es Salaam from De­cem­ber 12 and to Guinea early next year. “We will con­tinue to grow in Africa to con­nect Africa to the world,” he said.

The air­line’s ef­forts are sup­ple­mented by the build­ing of a new air­port in Is­tan­bul that will have park­ing space for 550 air­craft with six run­ways. Phase one of the project due in 2018 will han­dle 90 mil­lion pas­sen­gers.

Ataturk Air­port is cur­rently third largest in the world in pas­sen­ger num­bers af­ter Heathrow in Bri­tain and Charle de Gaulle in France. With the new air­port, Is­tan­bul aims to over­take Charle de Gaulle to be­come the se­cond largest. Ayci says the coup at­tempt marginally af­fected the air­line’s op­er­a­tions, although the man­age­ment had to sack sev­eral em­ploy­ees sus­pected to have links to the or­gan­is­ers.

/AGEN­CIES

Peo­ple visit shops at the Grand Bazaar, one of the big­gest tourist at­trac­tion sites in Is­tan­bul,Turkey

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