Like most economic sectors in Turkey today, the tourism industry is feeling the impact of rising levels of political exposure. This has potential long-lasting repercussions, particularly considering that tourism in Turkey is an important economic engine of the economy. Not only is it responsible for contributing an estimated 4.1% of GDP in 2016 (c. €23.6 billion), but it is important for employment.

Given that tourism is intrinsically linked to political stability, there is little surprise that Ankara’s decision to intervene militarily in the Syrian conflict – which triggered an unprecedented diplomatic crisis with Russia and Europe – and terrorist attacks at home have had an impact on the sector.

This geopolitical context, combined with the country’s emerging internal politico-commercial realities - where allegiance to the Turkish government has become a crucial element for business elite looking to secure their assets – has made the sector increasingly susceptible to political decision-making. On the flipside, international and domestic investors with interests in Turkey’s tourism sector will inevitably find that questions of a political bearing are playing a greater role in their strategic and operational decision-making.