09 Feb

Our thoughts are with Turkey and Syria

The sad news of the terrible earthquakes in Turkey and Syria has appalled us all. As the days go by the situation becomes more and more distressing, as the estimated number of people who have lost their lives grows.

Syria was, of course, already facing hard times. Turkey is perhaps a country that many of us within the UK travel industry are more familiar with. It is a destination that is growing in popularity for UK holidaymakers, with many of our members operating programmes there, and we ourselves will be holding ABTA’s Travel Convention there later this year.

We are part of a global industry that celebrates exploring different countries and cultures. We feel these events deeply and share our sympathies with those affected.

Earlier this week I wrote to the Tourism Minister in Turkey to share our condolences, and Susan Deer, ABTA’s Director of Industry Relations, sent a similar message to our London contact at the Turkish tourism authority.

The Disasters Emergency Committee is coordinating a fundraising and emergency response, with the UK Government committing to match-fund up to £5 million in public donations. More information on that appeal can be found here

Mark Tanzer, Chief Executive, ABTA