After the fallout over journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder, it appears that the flow of high number of Saudi’s to Turkey has been slowed down as the Kingdom calls to boycott the holiday destination.
Each year thousands of Saudi tourists visit Turkey because of its moderate climate, blue waters and cultural attractions. But due to tensions over the journalists murder, nationalists and pro government media are campaigning to boycott turkey affecting its already strained economy. Headlines of ‘Turkey is not safe’ and ‘don’t go to turkey’ have been popping up with hostiles stories running in recent months.
Official warnings from the Saudi embassy in turkey have been issued regarding passport theft and crimes in Ankara. This has seemed to work as Turkish tourism ministry reported a 30% drop in Saudi arrivals in the first five months of 2019 as compared to the same period last year. A travel agency also reported a similar fall in bookings. This is not only limited to tourism but also triggers a boycott on Turkish products.
The boycott rhetoric could not have come at a worse time for Turkey as it battles an economic crisis. “The already suffering Turkish real estate market could be further damaged by a mass exodus of Saudi property holdings,” said Hussein Ibish, a scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute in Washington.