Turkey still the go-to place for Mumbaikars

Turkey, the current go to destination for India, which has seen a surge of popularity in the last few years, was target of a deadly explosion yesterday. Turkish Tourism Ministry data says that in 2012, 90,000 tourists visited Turkey from India, compared to only 45,000 in 2007, showing an exponential jump in five years.

Subhash Motwani, director of Namaste Turkey, a Mumbai-based travel agency, said, "There is apprehension after such incidents, but rarely have I seen a significant number of tourists cancelling plans. Apprehension is short-lived, because attacks can befall anywhere, any day. What is the point of cancelling a trip you have planned for months?"

Dhaval Jangla, Director, Aurora Travels Limited, promotes Turkey extensively. He said, "I saw no dip in the number of tourists visiting Turkey even after the bomb blast last year. From business perspective though, such incidents make it difficult to market a destination as a tourist-friendly spot." While it may be a usual business for Turkey promoters, we need to introspect about this as a society. The problem, according to Shankar Srinivasan, India head of TravelShop Turkey, is that tourists have started to accept blasts as part of life.

"Turkey used to be a hassle-free tourist destination, but over the last three years, there is unrest. Surprisingly, this has not affected tourism much," he said.

"Which place can you call completely safe today?" said Gladwyn Pinto, executive secretary general, Travel Agents Federation of India (TAFI). " A blast or attack can happen at any place. People may hesitate for some time, but it won’t have any long-term effect."

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