Are holidays to Turkey cancelled? How the earthquakes affect travel and which regions were hit

Britons who have booked a holiday to Turkey over the school half term may be concerned about travel to the country following the two earthquakes that hit the south-eastern region of the country, as well as neighbouring Syria.

The UK Foreign Office has warned people who are in Turkey or planning to travel there to “follow the information and advice from local authorities/your tour operator”.

There were strong aftershocks felt across Turkey and as far away as Egypt following the first 7.8 magnitude earthquake that hit the city of Gaziantep on Monday morning.

More than 5,000 people have been killed in Turkey and Syria and there are collapsed buildings on both sides of the border.

A second earthquake that measured 7.6 on the Richter scale was recorded in Turkey’s south-eastern region of Kahramanmaraş at 1.24pm local time on Monday.

Which areas of Turkey are affected?

The first earthquake hit the south-eastern city of Gaziantep and nine other provinces in Turkey. The second, 7.5 magnitude earthquake hit Kahramanmaraş. These are the affected provinces:

  • Hatay 
  • Osmaniye 
  • Adıyaman 
  • Diyarbakır 
  • Sanliurfa 
  • Kahramanmaras 
  • Kilis 
  • Adana 
  • Malatya 

Is Antalya affected by the earthquakes?

The Turkish resort city of Antalya in the south-west of the country and the surrounding province – popular among British tourists with many tour operators offering holidays in the region – have not been affected by the earthquakes. The distance by air between Gaziantep and Antalya is 369 miles.

Have holidays or flights been cancelled?

No flights or package holidays from the UK to Turkey have been cancelled, according to tour operators and travel experts have confirmed.

Travel companies that offer holidays in Turkey include:

  • Tui
  • British Airways Holidays
  • On the Beach
  • Thomas Cook
  • Hays Travel
  • Kuoni
  • EasyJet Holidays
  • Jet2 Holidays

There are no flights cancelled from UK airports to Turkey

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Tanzania Tour Operators Association rolls out plan for startups

The key driver of Tanzania’s tourism industry has unveiled its most ambitious plan of supporting local entrepreneurs to venture into tourism.

The Tanzania Association of Tour Operators (TATO) has so far assisted 17 out of 50 targeted entrants into the tourism industry in its latest efforts to create new employers and taxpayers.

Handing over the document for the first batch of entrepreneurs, TATO CEO, Mr. Sirili Akko, said his organization is keen to support startups to navigate through the intricate and costly process of formalizing their businesses.

“Minimum, it costs $86,500 to comply with registration and formalization of a tour company,” said Mr. Akko, explaining that $80,000 is for a tourist converted vehicle and $6,500 for regulatory bodies licenses fees, provisional tax, website, and lawyer’s charges.

These costs, he said, are prohibitive by any standards because a person with interest to venture into the tourism industry is faced with having to raise such an amount even before doing business. “And this is after the government trim-down [of] a compulsory number of vehicles for a new entrant into [the] tourism industry from three to one at the moment,” Mr. Akko noted.

Mosses Anderson, Godlisten William, and Charles Minja are the grateful pioneer beneficiaries of the TATO project.

“I’ve been craving to own my own tour company for 15 good years, but owing to the costs, I couldn’t.”

“I’m more than happy for TATO’s generous support that enabled me to realize my dream,” said Mr. Minja who vowed to work extremely hard to create employment for young professionals.   

Meanwhile, TATO Chairman, Mr. Wilbard Chambulo, has pleaded with the government to create a conducive business environment in order to boost tourist numbers, as well as extend length of stay and revenues.


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The latest advice on travel to Thailand following a Foreign Office update

British holidaymakers who are due to travel to Thailand may have noted an update to the country’s Foreign Office advice page.

“Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in tourist destinations across Thailand,” reads the FCDO update under the safety and security section.

This update may appear alarming to some travellers, such as those planning a first time visit to the country or a solo trip. However, travel experts and tour operators offer reassurance and context.

Here is what you should know about the latest changes to advice on travel to Thailand.

What is the Foreign Office advice?

There is no warning against travel to Thailand, but the FCDO recommends reading its advice before travelling.

The full update on the risk of attacks in the country reads: “Serious crimes take place throughout Thailand, and sometimes British nationals are affected. Violent sexual assaults and unprovoked attacks have been reported in tourist destinations across Thailand.

“These are particularly common during full moon parties and other similar events and late at night near bars. Drink spiking and drug assisted sexual assault have been reported in tourist destinations around Thailand, with both male and female victims.

“Be careful about taking drinks from strangers or leaving your drinks unattended. Crimes involving guns take place in Thailand, and foreign nationals have sometimes been victims of gun crime.”

More on Travel News

What do experts say about the update?

Tour operators and travel agents offer some context to the FCDO update on crime in Thailand.

Ashley Quint, director at travel agency TimeTravel World, says: “As the world has reopened following the pandemic, old problems like the recent advice in Thailand have reappeared – however, it’s still relatively rare”.

He adds: “If possible, I would always suggest being with a trusted, known person, or preferably a

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Private Biking, Hiking And Safari Trips Can Be An Affordable Luxury

Active travel is one of the few industries in the digital age that still revels in mailing out thick, glossy, color catalogs. Every time I receive one (surprisingly often) it’s hard not to immediately start flipping through the pages and fantasizing about tempting trip after tempting trip. Cycling Croatia’s Coast by Boat, Trekking the Atlas Mountains of Morocco, Multi-Sport Adventure in Bhutan, and endless trips in proven favorites such as Italy, France, Ireland and Spain. There are trips for every taste, but increasingly, many of the more unique offerings don’t have prices or departure dates, but instead simply state “Private Only.”

When the guided active travel industry began, pretty much all of the bike, hike and multi-sport trips offered were group departures, meaning they would list a few dates for reach trip, have a maximum group size, usually in the range of 12-24 people, and they would sell spots to singles and couples. You would join a bunch of strangers, usually for better, sometimes for worse. But increasingly this segment of the travel industry has shifted to private trips, and many of the top players have told me that 50% or more of their bookings are now private. This can mean either the same itineraries that are offered as group departures but at a date of your choice and with no strangers, or a completely different custom itinerary, often in places where there are no “scheduled departures,” industry jargon for a group trip on a certain date out of the catalog.

There are many advantages to private travel. You are not limited to the handful of dates offered, and can make the trip fit your work, school or life

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Tour packages cancelled- The New Indian Express

Express News Service

KOCHI: Life is gifting those in the tourism industry a mixed bag of goodies. The tourism industry in the state has been picking up with a huge rush of visitors booking trips to God’s Own Country since December 20. But a dearth of tourist vehicles has turned villain. The situation now is such that tour operators are forced to cancel packages or not take up new enquiries.  

“The highest number of tourist arrivals into the state happens from between December 20 to the middle of January. Nearly all hotel rooms are booked and also the available tour buses and other vehicles,” said Rajesh P R, a tour guide. According to him, it is true that many tour operators are being forced to not entertain any more enquiries since they are unable to find vehicles to conduct tours.

Tour operator Jacob, of Marvel Tours, blames the current scenario on the steadily increasing airfares. “Since the agency does not want to overcharge its domestic customers, they are forced to deny them service. Many tour operators sold their vehicles during the pandemic and they are now unable to buy new taxis when the industry is coming back to life again. Taxi manufacturers and suppliers like Toyota have no vehicles to sell. The demand is high, as is the price,” he said. He asserts that the tourism industry is facing problems.

According to Bijoy, of Greenland Holidays, during the period between December 20 and January 10, the demand for tourist vehicles is high and there occurs a consequent shortage of vehicles in the market. He noted that this was not the case during the Covid pandemic when the tourism industry was at a standstill. “In the post-Covid scenario, it is often difficult to get the required vehicles. Tourists then go

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The Tech Revolution Poised to Power Tour Operators

Leigh Barnes, the chief customer officer of Melbourne, Australia-based tour operator Intrepid Travel, can attest to the challenges companies like his face when incorporating new technology.

“One day, we accidentally sent a test email to a small segment of our customers with song lyrics by Lionel Ritchie,” he said. “There was no data breach, and we owned the issue straight away.”

“But we did receive some very funny replies from our customers. It was a reminder of the care you need to take with embracing technology at such massive speed.”

Although Barnes chuckles about the story, tech issues regularly haven’t been a laughing matter for tour operators. Companies in the sector have long struggled due to their reliance on outdated technology that has inhibited their ability to make bookings.

But multi-day tour operators today are benefitting from technology advances giving those companies a much-needed boost after the pandemic significantly damaged their businesses. The global tour operator software market, estimated to be worth $500 million in 2020, is projected to be valued at $1.2 billion by 2026. Some tour operators are spending more than $1 million on technology. Among those big spenders is Intrepid Travel, which is upping its technology budget for 2023 by 189 percent from 2019.

“New businesses … are built with technology at the core (and take) a marketplace view to their business model, which allows them to grow, test and scale much more efficiently,” said Tony Carne, chief operator officer at Airguides, a Peregian Beach, Australia-based agency that works with destinations on sustainability messaging, and a contributor to Skift.

However, multi-day tour operators, which run trips with groups of anywhere from 10 to 25 participants around pre-sent itineraries and departure dates, still face an uphill climb with integrating and maintaining new systems.

“(A decade

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Tour operators expect a good season after govt lifts travel restrictions

Bangladesh’s inbound tour operators are expecting a good season this winter as foreign leisure tourists have booked trips after two years of travel restrictions brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Most of these travellers are from Japan, Italy, England, Germany, France, Australia and some other Asian countries, say travel operators.

Bangladesh lifted all types of travel restrictions for foreign tourists – imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic – on 26 September this year, paving the way for tour operators for bookings from foreign tourists for winter trips.

However, tour operators have said that if the declaration of lifting all types of travel restrictions had come a few months ago, they would have received more responses from foreigners.

Though travel costs, including airfare, have increased, the operators said that they did not increase the package cost this year in order to attract guests after a two-year break.

Bengal Tours, one of the leading inbound tour operating agencies in Bangladesh, has already received booking confirmations from more than 600 travellers, who will visit from October 2022 to March 2023.

“Around 65% of the tourists are Japanese, while the rest are from European countries who availed different group tour packages. The cost per day for a tourist under a group package is $75-$85, excluding airfare,” Masud Hossain, managing director of Bengal Tours, told The Business Standard.

“We have decreased our profit margin this year so that guests feel free to come to Bangladesh after a long interval,” he said, adding that Bengal Tours will increase the cost from the 2023-24 season.

Normally, travellers take 7 to 15 day packages.

“Seven British tourists will come in November this year through our agency. Besides, a group of nine Italian citizens will visit in March next year,” Syed Mahbubul Islam Bulu, proprietor of Riverain Tour, told

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Proposed German tax mystifies and angers tour operators: Travel Weekly

Germany and tour operators appear to be on a collision course if the country implements a new tax next year, one that industry leaders say could wreak “unprecedented havoc” on foreign markets.

The European Tour Operators Association (ETOA) says that German authorities have confirmed that its twice-deferred decision to apply a value-added tax (VAT) to all foreign sales of Germany vacations by non-EU companies will go into effect on Jan. 1, two years after its originally scheduled 2021 start.

According to ETOA CEO Tom Jenkins, tax rates will vary and depend on how vacation packages are sourced but could be as high as 9% or as low as 2%. Jenkins said the tax is anticipated to be levied on nearly every aspect of selling vacations and travel services to Germany and that especially for small travel businesses and travel advisors, it could pose a financial and administrative burden.

“Tax will be levied on travel advisor commissions, marketing and sales, bonding and insurance overheads, website, purchasing and head office costs; all of these are paid for out of the margin,” Jenkins said. “It is a sales tax explicitly aimed at services delivered in another country.”

The tax ruling would also require companies based outside of the EU to register with Germany to buy and sell German tourism products and to file a tax return. 

Jenkins said the taxes levied against non-EU travel businesses could end up being passed on to the consumer in the form of higher prices, making travel to Germany much more expensive for non-EU travelers who buy vacation packages and services. 

“This is not just a taxation on the export of services — it targets the process by which Germany has been sold as a destination for generations,” Jenkins said in a statement provided to Travel Weekly, calling

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New national parks res system causes headaches for tour operators: Travel Weekly

A well-intended measure to promote sustainability at U.S. national parks is backfiring for the tour operators that offer those destinations. 

The reservation system, introduced at some of the most popular national parks earlier this year, often only allows bookings to be made within a few days or even hours of a park visit. It was designed to limit high visitor volume and better preserve natural resources. 

But it is causing tour operators, who book months in advance, to lose bookings due to the short reservation window, especially for international travelers, who book anywhere from six months to a year ahead. 

“If a family has long dreamed of visiting the Grand Canyon or Yellowstone and has planned, saved and scheduled their trip well in advance, they want to know their reservations to the park are booked and secure,” said Simon Russell, CEO of Authentic Vacations. “When we work with local national park suppliers and day tour operators and they cannot guarantee us a booked reservation within one of the parks, then we can’t give them the business and everyone loses — the traveler, us and the local supplier.”

In addition, most reservations must be made for parks that require them through, a platform that National Tour Association (NTA) president Catherine Prather says is better suited for individual or family travelers and is “not designed for groups or tour operators.”

“Seventy-six percent of our tour operators package the parks,” Prather said. “The national parks are an important component or stand-alone feature of many NTA tour operators’ tours and packages.”

Foreign and domestic travel industry leaders are openly calling on the U.S. Interior Department to reform the reservation system and work with tour operators to find solutions that benefit visitors and also preserve the parks.

A letter drafted by the U.S. Travel

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Tour Operators Are Travel’s Most Vocal Leaders for Sustainability

Skift Take

The global focus on sustainability will be the catalyst for the asset light and human-focused tour operator sector going mainstream.

When tourism decided to declare a climate emergency and take that declaration to Glasgow, it wasn’t leaders from airlines, hotels, online travel agencies or the cruise industry leading the charge.

It was tour operator executives like Alex Narracott, the CEO of Much Better Adventures. His push to have global travel brands commit publicly to reduce emissions by 50 percent by 2030 and reach net zero by 2050 is just one prominent example of tour operators playing an outsized role in sustainable travel.

Tour operators can reach local communities directly through tour guides who, in best case scenarios, are actually from the community. Since that access provides such companies immediate feedback about a host community’s perception of tourism, I set out to find out why the sector has taken a leading role in one of the most defining issues of our time.

“It’s like going to the same church. We’re all already believers,” said Michael Edwards, the managing director of tour operator Explore Worldwide, when asked why the sector has played such a big role in sustainability.

While G Adventures founder Bruce Poon Tip believes tourism can spark wealth distribution and poverty alleviation, Fiona Ngesa, the director of market development for the Kenya Tourism Board, has also seen tour operators place an increasing emphasis on sustainability — largely because they’ve been pushed to do so.

“I see it as a simple matter of supply and demand,” said Ngesa, who wrote a book titled Sustainability Agenda: The Challenge & Opportunity for Organizations that examined the relationship between tour operators and sustainability.

“Travelers, especially millennial travelers, are interested in sustainability and in meeting people and understanding how

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