Turkey has seen a huge drop in tourism the past couple of years, due to fears of terrorism. How bad has the impact been on the economy? Via rt.com:
“Revenue from tourism fell 14.3 percent in the final quarter of last year. Bookings for this summer have plunged by 40 percent, while hotel occupancy rates have dropped by more than 50 percent since 2015, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing industry figures. According to the media, hundreds of hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, and boutique resorts have been put up for sale.”
The town of Kusadasi, in Southwestern Turkey, has a unique solution to try and lure tourists, though only time will tell if it works. Specifically, the town has gotten their hands on an old Airbus A300, which they’re sinking and using as an artificial diving reef:
“Our goal is to make Kuşadası a centre of diving tourism. Our goal is to protect the underwater life. And with these goals in mind, we have witnessed one of the biggest wrecks in the world,” metropolitan Mayor Ozlem Cercioglu said, adding that he hoped that the creation of the new diving spot will be a big step towards rebooting tourism in the region.
The 54-meter-long Airbus, said to be the biggest plane ever to be turned into an artificial reef, was dismantled in Istanbul in a procedure that started in April.
Here’s a video of the Airbus A300 in the water:
I’ve never gone diving in my life (I’m sort of irrationally scared of bodies of water), so this isn’t for me. But if I were into diving and were an aviation geek, this seems pretty unbeatable. However, if the intent is to create an artificial reef, I suspect this won’t be a quick fix, since presumably it takes a while for the plane to become part of the habitat.