Turkish officials have purposely sunk a jumbo jetliner off the Aegean coast with the hopes of raising interest amongst scuba tourists. This comes as Turkey deals with all-time lows in overseas tourism.
The Airbus A300 landed in its final resting place in the waters near the resort town of Kusadisi, 50 miles south of Izmir, which is considered to be a major tourist destination in western Turkey.
Officials dissected the jet (valued at more than $100,000) in April to make it safer for divers to explore. They hope it will attract underwater flora and fauna. According to some sources, the A300 will be the largest plane to be used as an artificial reef. It measures 177 feet long with a 144-foot wingspan.
"With this project, the aim is to increase the underwater biodiversity off [the coast of] Kusadisi and to further develop underwater tourism in the area,” the mayor of a local town told The Telegraph. “We expect some 250,000 domestic and foreign tourists per year to come here for diving.”
The creation of the artificial reef comes as Turkey faces steep declines in tourism. The number of tourists has fallen by 28 percent in the last calendar year. More information can be found in the originally reported article, here.
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