Comment: Sadness and silver linings

Comment: Sadness and silver linings

I was at a travel event last Tuesday night when I heard about the terrorist attack on Istanbul airport and people commented at once that it could be the nail in the coffin for any business reliant on Turkey.

And so when I learned on Friday evening that Turkey specialist Anatolian Sky Holidays had ceased trading, I can’t pretend I was surprised.

Instead, I just felt desperately sad, as I knew boss Akin Koc would have fought to the bitter end to try to keep his beloved company afloat. It was such a huge part of his life that he likened the failure of the 26-year-old tour operation to losing a family member.

And agents commenting on our story were just as upset. One described herself as ‘heartbroken’ that such an established and highly regarded specialist should fall victim to a decimated market which, until a few years ago, was one of the strongest for UK holidaymakers.

Industry observers had similar fears that the market to the US would slump after the vote for Brexit, as the value of the pound fell against the dollar.

How heartening it is to hear then, as we produce our annual US-themed special edition of Travel Weekly, that far from seeing a decline, US specialists are reporting a mini surge in bookings – and high-value ones too.

They are attributing the rise to holidaymakers craving both a perceived ‘safe’ destination and fixed-priced holidays while the economic situation in the UK is in limbo.

As we officially enter the lates market this week, maybe the saving grace has been the predictably awful British weather.


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