With predictable regularity, the British tabloid press likes nothing better than splashing holiday scare stories across their front pages at this time of year.
The latest came this week from that serial offender The Express, which shrieked the “shock warning” of a new terror threat to “MILLIONS of holidaymakers as ISIS targets TURKEY”.
The use of capital letters was presumably intended as a device to justify running the story as an “exclusive” front page.
In fact, there had not, as claimed, been any heightened warning from the Foreign Office, whose advice focuses on less visited regions of Turkey close to the Syrian border.
But I know, having spoken to agents and operators, public perception about Turkey, fuelled in part by alarmist press reports, is having an impact on sales to the country.
The gap between perception and reality hit me while I was in Turkey just a few weeks ago for the Advantage Travel Partnership conference.
Standing on the beach at the Mark Warner property, I was getting texts from mobile phone networks welcoming me to Greece – Kos is visible from the resort, a short ferry ride away.
All this leaves travel agents with the difficult task of cutting through the claptrap, so that you can offer the best possible advice to your clients.
No doubt, Greece will be the next destination subjected to hysterical headlines, as the country’s debt crisis reaches a climax. The latest advice from Abta about the potential impact of Greece exiting the euro is both sober and sensible.
Keep calm and carry on.
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