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A predicted shift in capacity to ‘safe’ destinations following fresh terrorist attacks could destabilise the market, industry experts have warned.
A suicide bomb attack on Tuesday in a tourist area of Istanbul killed 10 people – at least nine of whom were German tourists.
The incident came four days after suspected Islamist terrorists stabbed three tourists at the Bella Vista Hurghada hotel in Egypt's Red Sea area.
About 2.5 million Brits travel to Turkey every year on holiday.
Operators fear the incidents could lead to too much demand for Spain and Greece – destinations already experiencing higher sales following previous incidents.
Industry consultant, Andy Cooper, a former head of the Federation of Tour Operators, said: “The danger is it puts huge pressure on Spain, and you end up with a squeeze on beds, prices go up and capacity runs short.
“The timing couldn’t be worse, as Turkey’s important booking period is in the peaks.”
Cooper said major operators would aim to fix capacity by the end of February.
He added: “I suspect Turkey specialists will be watching sales this week to see whether they fall off a cliff.”
Abta chairman, Noel Josephides, said: “It is very bad news. There are too many incidents one after another. It destabilises the market.”
John Sullivan, Advantage Travel Partnership commercial head, said: “You always fear something may happen in the peaks period. It’s hard to know how long the shockwaves will last.”
Prior to the attacks, specialist operators had announced plans to diversify into Greece and Turkey.
Red Sea Holidays deputy managing director Jason Hilton said the operator would continue with plans to take up to 100 agents on fam trips to Turkey this year.
“It’s our first year in Turkey but we’ll stick with it,” he said. “We cannot run away.”
Egypt’s tourism minister has pledged extra security measures to protect tourists.
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