Email the editor

Events planners should never "be cowed" by terror after Turkey attack

Messages of support being sent to Istanbul following terror attack at Ataturk Airport last night, which killed 36

Pictured: 36 people were killed and 147 injured when three suicide bombers attacked Ataturk Airport Tuesday evening

Event and incentive planners are being urged to stand alongside their counterparts in Turkey following the suspected terror attack in Istanbul's main airport.

An estimate 36 people were killed and more than 140 injured when three gunmen opened fire before blowing themselves up in Ataturk Airport, Turkey's main hub. Flights have since reopened though many are cancelled or delayed.

The attack is the latest in a string of atrocities in the country over the past 18 months, and the third suicide attack in Istanbul this year. It comes after foreign visitor numbers dropped more than a third in May, the biggest fall in 22 years.

The president of Society for Incentive Travel of Excellence (Site), Rajeev Kohli, said he was deeply saddened by the violence, and urged other event professionals to support the destination.

"It is bad enough that they have to deal with the loss of so many innocent lives. But to also come to grips with the potential impact on tourism and incentive travel is truly incomprehensible for many of us," Kohli said in a message to members.

"To the international community, all I can say is that in these times of distress, we must stand by our friends and partners in our industry. What has happened in Istanbul is no different from what has happened in Brussels, Paris or Orlando.

"Terrorism has taken a new shape and as much as we wish, this perhaps will not be the last act of its kind. The battlefronts have moved and so must our willpower and resolve to defeat those who try to deter us. Turning our backs to destinations and colleagues is a victory for those who try to scare us to stay home. We need to give some time to heal, but be ready to return and show that we will never be cowed down."

Purple Dog Solutions MD Chris Clarke tweeted: "Senseless waste of innocent lives in beautiful Turkey. Just can't comprehend what is happening in this world. We are all Turkey".

Facebook Share Twitter Share LinkeIn Share