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Greece benefit from Turkey troubles

Greek island cruise ship

Greece benefit from Turkey troubles.

Street protests in Turkey could benefit hotel owners on Greek holiday islands as tourists switch destinations. Tourism operators say the recent events in Istanbul could have a positive impact for Greek island tourism, although it is still too early to estimate.

But they feel confident that more holidaymakers will prefer to book holidays in Greece if the mass protests in Taksim Square or if civil unrest spreads to other parts of the country over the next few weeks.

There is already speculation that some cruise ships are docking in Greek Islands ports rather than Turkish ones following the recent unrest, especially to islands like Rhodes and Kos which lie off the Turkish coast.

Tourist leaders insist it is still too early to tell if the street protests in Istanbul will influence tourism to the Greek islands to any great extent but they are certainly not ruling it out.
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The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) currently advises against all but essential travel to certain parts of Turkey. The site says the government "advise against all travel to the Turkish towns of Akcakale and Ceylanpinar and against all but essential travel to areas within 10km of Turkey's border with Syria."

Recent demonstrations in Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir, Antalya, Adana, Hatay, Tunceli and other cities across Turkey have resulted in police using tear gas and water cannon and further violent protests remain possible, according to the FCO.

Two car bombs killed 51 and wounded more than 100 in the town of Reyhanli, while frequent attacks occur throughout the country and Al Qaeda and other networks have specifically targeted western interests in Turkey.

Tour operators already report some booking cancellations and trip postponements and that some tourists are opting for Greek islands in the North Aegean and the Dodecanese such as Kos and Rhodes islands.

According to reliable sources, a large cruise ship with 3,500 passengers, which was scheduled to dock in Turkey, has asked for information about berthing in Rhodes, although there is no confirmation as yet on its possible arrival.

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