Terrorists hit holiday bookings

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​​​Thomson and First Choice owner TUI said summer holiday bookings to Turkey slumped by 40​ per cent​ ​following ​the ​recent terrorist attacks.

The travel giant said holidaymakers were staying away from the country and turning instead to resorts in Spain and the Canary Islands. Terrorist attacks in Turkey, Paris, Egypt and Tunisia have hit the travel sector, with the outbreak of the Zika virus adding to the woes.

Leeds couple Christopher and Sharon Bell, from Killingbeck ,were among 38 people killed by gunman Seifeddine Rezgui in the resort of Sousse in Tunisia last year.

Friedrich Joussen, chief executive of TUI, said: “It is evident that there has been a significant shift in demand away from Turkey, with summer 2016 bookings to that destination currently down around 40​ per cent​.”

Turkey has also been ​hit by a drop in demand as it borders with Syria, which is gripped in a civil war.

TUI’s results for the year to the end of last September showed the impact from the beach massacre in Tunisia in June. ​​

The group took a £37.6​m hit from the Tunisia attack and former joint chief executive Peter Long said in December the atrocity had been “the most tragic event”.