Will our Turkish guides lose business in 2016? That's up to you.

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We are sad to be devoting more words to an act of terror - and yet we find ourselves here again. This week a terrorist strapped a bomb to his body and detonated it in a heavily touristed area in Istanbul, Turkey, killing 10 people and wounding 15 others. He has also likely wounded the Turkish tourist economy in the process, as some travellers will decide to change their plans to visit the country based on this singular act of violence.

That would be a mistake. Istanbul is one of the most popular cities on the planet for travellers, and our dozen guides there embody the warmth, intelligence and splendour of this great city. These guides find themselves now concerned for the upcoming tourist season, worried that their livelihoods will be impacted by Tuesday's events.

Whether this happens is up to you, and thousands of other international travellers. Travelling is never without risk; no one can guarantee your safety whether you're crossing the street in New York City, Paris, Istanbul or Vancouver. It is up to each one of us to rationally consider the situation, and make decisions accordingly.

If you are concerned about spending time in major crowds, there's no one better than a local guide to take you to quieter, more out-of-the-way places where you can become familiar with the heartbeat of Istanbul, the pulse of its back alleys, bazaars and quiet side streets. Or head out on an excursion from the city to visit places like Gallipoli or Troy. Maybe learn how to cook a Turkish meal in a local home! Our guides offer all sorts of local experiences that avoid the crowds.

Istanbul is a favourite destination here at ToursByLocals; a number of our staff return year after year because the city's draw is that magnetic, and our guides such wonderful ambassadors. We hope that if you have not visited yet that you consider planning a trip here in 2016, or beyond. As our guide Safiye says in the photo above: "Istanbul may have suffered wounds, but the city and its citizens are never broken."
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