Group Head of Customer Welfare Carol MacKenzie gives her views on travel to Turkey:
Turkey has some of the most beautiful coastline in the Mediterranean. Its resorts are warm in the summer and mild in the winter. Turkish food is famous across the globe and its sociable, friendly culture is among the most welcoming anywhere. It’s no surprise that in 2015 it was the world’s fifth most visited tourist destination.
2016 was a tough year for Turkish tourism. A series of bombings in Istanbul and Ankara which began in January, followed by an attempted coup in July meant that Turkey was frequently in the news for the wrong reasons. Tourist numbers declined as the disruption continued through the year.
In making decisions about where we offer holidays to our customers, we are always led by the UK Government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advice. This only advises against travel to a small part of eastern Turkey, largely where it borders Syria, and 800 kilometres from the nearest holiday resort we offer. The overall threat from terrorism is assessed as being the same as it is in the UK, which is ‘high’, and the FCO advice highlights possible attacks against the Turkish state, major cities, and the aviation industry. It recommends visitors keep up to date with their travel advice when on holiday.
Throughout the disruption last year, the resorts on the south-west coast which we offer our customers remained calm and our teams on the ground said that customers continued to enjoy their holidays.
We love Turkey – for its stunning beaches, great food, friendly people and fantastic resorts – and right now it offers some of the best value holiday options around.
Taking your loved ones anywhere is a serious decision. Ultimately, of course, it’s up to you where you choose to go on holiday. You should always consult FCO travel advice before making your decision. Whichever Thomas Cook holiday you choose, you can always be assured that your safety is our first priority.