Reservations for 2023 have already started in the tourism sector, which is one of the sectors most affected by the pandemic. Tourism professionals, who said that the demand from abroad is high, stated that hotel prices for 2023 increased by a minimum of 20 percent on a foreign currency basis for new reservations. Stating that Turkey’s tourism revenues will exceed 37 billion dollars this year and will play an important role in closing the current account deficit, AKTOB President Erkan Yağcı said, “Now the period of room sales for 20-30 euros is over.” said.
Tourism professionals stated that they will be able to reach the target of 47 million tourists and 37 billion dollars income, revised upwards by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism at the end of this year. Despite the Russia-Ukraine war and the developments in Europe, hotels receive heavy bookings in September-October.
In Turkey, where British and German tourists show great interest, the tourism sector has started contracts for the upcoming season in August instead of September-October as every year. Hotels, which were able to increase their prices by 10-15 percent in the previous year, state that there is an intense demand for contracts to be made for the next year by the Agencies.
According to the news of Selin Yağcı from Dünya; Turkey left behind a new record year in tourism, reaching a total of 51.7 million visitors and a tourism income of 34.5 billion dollars in 2019. After 2 years of pandemic restriction, the number of visitors to Turkey in the first 7 months of this year increased by 128.28 percent and reached 26 million 195 thousand 747. Germany, the Russian Federation and the UK were the countries sending the most visitors, respectively. In the previous 2019 pandemic, 24 million 693 thousand 886 visitors came to Turkey in the first 7 months. In July 2022, Turkey hosted 6 million 665 thousand 129 foreign visitors with an increase of 52.84 percent compared to the same month of the previous year.
According to STR Global’s report, the average daily price of rooms sold in hotels in Istanbul in June; (ADR) increased by 70.4 percent compared to 2021 and reached 146.16 euros, while revenues per room (RevPAR) increased by 170.6 percent compared to last year and reached 114.23 euros. In the first 6 months, the average price of the room sold per day; The income from 112.74 euros per room was 77.52 euros.
20-30 EURO HOLIDAY PERIOD IS OVER
Stating that Turkey’s tourism revenues will exceed 37 billion dollars this year and will play an important role in closing the current account deficit, Mediterranean Touristic Hotels Association (AKTOB) President Erkan Yağcı said that in the last 3 years, there are two important issues due to the pandemic and the war between Russia and Ukraine, Turkey’s two main markets in tourism. Expressing that he has gone through the crisis, he said that the tourism sector has successfully overcome these two crises. Drawing attention to the fact that Turkey has come to the forefront compared to its competitors in world tourism after the pandemic, Yağcı continued: ‘Turkey stands out in world tourism. Especially ‘All Inclusive’ is being adopted by international hotel chains. It solved the problem experienced in Russia and Ukraine in the main source of both Turkey and Antalya in particular in the European market. 2019 figures will be reached in the European market. There is a high demand in Europe after the pandemic. There is still a pending demand.”
Explaining that Turkish tourism should follow France’s Cote d’Azur region after Spain, Yağcı said, “Turkey is ahead of its competitors in tourism. The Cote d’Azur is also very important to us. Room sales for 20-30 euros are over in Antalya. We will provide good quality, reliable and healthy service. This should be done in the future. With this vision, we will prepare for the future.”
“WE CAN BREAK RECORD IN 2023”
Bülent Bülbüloğlu, President of the Southern Aegean Touristic Hoteliers and Operators Association (GETOB) and Vice President of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation (TÜROFED), said that the hotels are full in July and August. Bülbüloğlu also added that occupancy rates are high in September-October. Pointing out that all calculations are to pass 2019, Bülbüloğlu said:
“Looking at the current bookings, the number of flights and the places tour operators have booked for September, October and November, it looks like the Ministry’s targets will be met. Turkey has a great price advantage compared to its competitors in Europe. Although the turmoil in the Black Sea spoiled our plans, our hotels in Marmaris, Fethiye and Bodrum are full at the moment. The demands of the British, German and Central European markets are intense. I guess we will go full.” On the other hand, Bülbüloğlu said that they have already started to make 2023 contracts and said, “The year 2023 looks very good. If there is no obstacle in the world, I think we will break records in Turkey and Muğla,” he said.
Osman Kendi, the owner of Parlak Touristik, which brings tourists from Germany, pointed out that the spiral in price increases has not yet come to an end, and said, “Holiday prices in the 2023 season will be 15-20 percent more expensive than this year. “People will continue to go on vacation, but the duration of vacations may be shortened,” he said.
Aegean Touristic Enterprises and Accommodations Union (ETIK) President Mehmet İşler stated that they expect to reach the updated targets by the end of the year and said, “In July, around 7-8 million tourists came to Antalya alone. Despite the war, it was a great performance for Turkey. 2019 was the best year in Turkish tourism history, equaling all years. But despite the war and the pandemic, 2022 seems to be a good year. We are seeing a significant flow of bookings and demand in the next year,” he said.
ASIAN AND AMERICAN TOURIST RETURNED
Saying that the hotels are at full capacity in July, Alanya Touristic Operators Association (ALTID) President Burhan Sili emphasized that foreign guests started to show more demand for Turkey compared to the pre-pandemic period, Sili said, “Especially the UK and Europe’s reservations increased significantly before the pandemic. The countries with the most reservations were the UK, Germany, Poland and the Netherlands. Reservations of Asian and American tourists, who prefer our country less for their holidays compared to previous years, have also increased. It seems that the tourism target for 2022 will be exceeded,” he said.
IN 2023, ISTANBUL WILL RETURN IT’S PLACE IN THE TOP 5
Müberra Eresin, President of the Turkish Hoteliers Association, stated that 2023 will be a much better year in tourism, that our tourism revenues will increase in the following years, and that Istanbul will be one of the top five destinations that shine once again in the world.
Eresin reminded that despite the slow start of this year, reservations accelerated in cities as of March and said: “The occupancy rate in Istanbul in the first 6 months of the year was 68.8. This rate was 35.3 percent in 2021 and 69.8 percent in the first 6 months of 2019 before the pandemic, which we took as a base. In May and June, we surpassed the numbers of 2019 on a monthly basis, but we were slightly behind 2019 in the total of the first 6 months of the year. In the first 6 months, the average occupancy rate in Turkey was 61.9 percent. This rate was 63.4 percent in the first 6 months of 2019 and 36.2 percent in the first 6 months of 2021.
In the first 6 months of this year, there was an increase of up to 30 percent in room prices and revenues in Istanbul. Unfortunately, the rate of increase in our expenses has been much higher than this rate, and these unexpected cost increases have put a lot of pressure on tourism professionals who have signed a minimum 6-month sales agreement. In Istanbul, tourists from the Middle East and Gulf origin dominate. We are not yet where we want in terms of tourist diversity on a country basis, but it is pleasing that a noticeable movement has started, especially in markets such as Europe, North and South America.
‘THE PRICES WILL NOT DROP THIS YEAR’
GETOB Vice President Bülent Bülbüloğlu said that unlike previous years, domestic tourists do not leave the beaches in September and October, and some of them prefer September and October as they are more suitable. On the other hand, Travel Agencies Executive Association (SAYD) President Mehmet Gem stated that prices will not decrease until October 15th, and noted that with the opening of schools under normal conditions, there is a 10-15 percent decrease in prices every year, but this will not happen due to the high demand this year.
THE TOURISM MOVEMENT IS CHANGING INSTANTLY AS NEVER
Müberra Eresin, President of the Turkish Hoteliers Association, stated that as a result of the economic and social developments after the pandemic, the tourism movement is shaped according to instant changes as never before. Eresin said, “Reservation occupancy rates, which are seen at 20-30% today, can reach 70-80% when the day comes. The rates seen in 70-80% can decrease to 50-60%. Therefore, it is difficult to make a precise prediction, but after the last 2 years, we clearly observe that the period of high performance has begun. Under the current circumstances, it seems certain that 2022 will be a much better year than 2021. There is a possibility that it will exceed 2019. We see the possible activity in the second half of the year, so we revised and raised our year-end forecasts.”
‘WORLD TOURISM AUTHORITIES DO NOT EXPECT A DECREASE IN TOURISM’
Turkey Travel Agencies Association President (TÜRSAB) Firuz Bağlıkaya stated that the number of visitors to Turkey increased by 128.28 percent in the January-July period of this year compared to the same period of the previous year. international tourism mobility remained extremely limited. It should be taken into account that the rate of increase is high in this context,” he said. Stating that it is of great importance to create a target-oriented promotion strategy in order to increase tourism revenues, Baglikaya said:
“According to TURKSTAT data, the share of visitors from very high and high income groups in total visitors has decreased in recent years, while the number of low and very low income visitors has increased. However, I regret to say that in the first half of the year, the per capita tourism income of our country is also decreasing.
Tourism income per capita of 818 dollars, which we obtained in the first 6 months of 2021, decreased to 770 dollars in the same period of this year. Therefore, we need to increase our performance in tourism. It is a fact that there is an inflationary environment around the world and accordingly the purchasing power has decreased. At this stage, world tourism authorities do not expect a decrease in tourism. In the evaluation made by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, it was stated that the recovery in the number of international travel continues, and predicted that between 800 million and 1 billion international travels will be realized by the end of 2022.