TUI Group, the world's largest tour operator, says bookings to Turkey this summer are down around 40 percent due to security concerns. As Hayley Platt reports, it is investing heavily in Cape Verde and Bulgaria as alternatives to terror-hit destinations in North Africa.
It's perhaps not the image Turkey would like to portray. Thousands of refugees packed into camps on its borders after fleeing fighting in Syria. The security issues are putting tourists off. TUI Group - the world's largest tour operator - reporting a 40 percent drop in bookings to Turkey this summer. Terror attacks in Egypt, Tunisia and Paris in recent months have also hit demand for package holidays. Although it improved on last year - TUI made a first quarter pre-tax loss of almost 102 million euros. Vicky Pryce is from CEBR. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEBR, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "I think the impact on the countries that have been so relying on tourism is going to be devastating and of course we need to worry about what the implication would be in terms of what happens politically in those places too if the one of the main source of revenue collapses." TUI says it's investing in Bulgaria and Cape Verde as alternatives. And it's seen good returns in some of its traditional markets, especially the Canary Islands. (SOUNDBITE) (English) CEBR, CHIEF ECONOMIC ADVISER, VICKY PRYCE, SAYING: "People are going to safer places or where they perceive to be safer places in Europe and of course we've seen what's been going on in terms of bookings for Spain. I'm hoping, being Greek myself that it will also be reflected in people going to Greece a lot as they did." Last year Turkey accounted for around 14 percent of TUI's customers. This year it expects to send just 1 million tourists there. Germans are staying away because of a suicide bombing in Istanbul. And Russians because of the shooting down of military jet. Turkey had been a top destination for both.