Operators acted swiftly as Turkish army staged coup

Juliet Dennis

Tui and Thomas Cook acted swiftly to allow cancellations to Turkey during the failed military coup at the weekend before reinstating normal booking conditions on Monday.

Both operators sought to

reassure customers this week after almost 300 people were killed as government supporters took to the streets to oppose the coup. Thomas Cook and Tui allowed

5 Few cancellations after Nice atrocity

Amie Keeley

The trade was thanked for its support following last week’s massacre in Nice amid reports of few cancellations and as Brits were urged to “keep travelling”.

Agnes Angrand, France Tourism

Development Agency deputy director UK and Ireland, said it was too early to predict the impact on visitor numbers, but while there had been “some cancellations” to Nice and the French Riviera in the past week, UK tourists were continuing to book.

Eighty-four people died when an

attacker drove a lorry into people celebrating Bastille Day along the city’s Promenade des Anglais. Brits make up the highest number of foreign tourists to the city, with 146,644 visitors in 2015. “The overall market was looking

very good for 2016, until now,” said Angrand. “But the British market is the most resilient. Even after the Paris attacks. We saw a 7% dip in overall visitors, from the UK it was 4%. “I want to thank the British

travel industry and British tourists for their tremendous support. France is open for business.

6 21 July 2016

“I want to thank everybody in the British travel industry for their tremendous support”

“We have to keep travelling, otherwise the terrorists win.” Bookings through the trade

make up about 17% of UK visits to France. Most are special interest package holidays. Trafalgar said 12 groups

were due to travel to Nice this week and nobody had asked to cancel. Despite a “double-digit” percentage fall in bookings to

France after the Paris attacks, chief executive Gavin Tollman said the company would not be reduce capacity. “We go out of our way to support destinations [after tragic events],” he said. SuperBreak said it had a few guests in Nice on Friday and a handful who were travelling imminently. It is allowing cancellations or amendments on bookings to the French Riviera until July 31. Royal Caribbean International’s

Navigator of the Seas and Celebrity Cruises’ Celebrity Constellation cancelled calls in Nice on Friday and Saturday.

customers due to fly to Turkey on Saturday or Sunday to cancel and receive a full refund or rebook an alternative holiday. Thomas Cook group head of

customer welfare Carol MacKenzie said in a blog post: “We understand the natural response for many people is to question the safety of the country as a whole.” But she stressed tourist resorts

were “hundreds of miles” from Istanbul and Ankara. Sebastian Ebel, Tui Germany

chief executive and executive board member, visited Antalya to

Government supporters took to streets

get feedback from its 300 reps and to show support for Turkey. Tui sends two million customers

annually to Turkey, but this year the number is around half that. All-inclusive operator Neilson

is delaying the launch of its 2017 Turkey programme, due out in August. Managing director David Taylor said: “We want to see how it settles down. We may come out with a smaller programme.” The company is carrying half last year’s 16,000 passengers to

Turkey this year after closing two of its Beachclubs. Red Sea Holidays said customers

were not asking to cancel. Deputy managing director Jason Hilton said: “Early signs are that people will stick with their holiday. Other options available are expensive.” Agents described Turkey as “dead and buried” for this summer. The Foreign Office said resorts other than Marmaris were unaffected, but urged tourists to be vigilant.


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