Domestic tourists to 'pay 40 percent more for their vacations in 2019'
Burak Coşan – ISTANBUL
Turkish domestic tourists will have to pay 40 percent more for their vacations in 2019 than in 2018, according to Firuz B. Bağlıkaya, the president of Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB).
“Due to the increase both in the number of foreign tourists and in the value of the foreign currencies [against Turkish Lira], the hotels in Turkey have pulled up the capacity that they have reserved for foreigners to 80 percent. Due to a less space reserved for domestic tourists and a rise in the value of the foreign currencies, domestic tourists will spend 40 percent more on their vacations next year,” Bağlıkaya told a group of reporters on Sept. 27 during an event held at the Topkapı Palace on the occasion to mark World Tourism Day.
“There are a couple of problems regarding domestic tourism. Due to a sudden increase in the foreign currency value, a problem has arisen regarding the share reserved for domestic tourists in hotel capacities. The hotels do not want to accommodate Turkish tourists with Turkish liras, but instead want to give out their rooms based on euro prices. Many hotels have increased their capacity for foreigners and lowered the capacity for domestic tourists,” Bağlıkaya said.
The renowned tourism sector player has also emphasized that as many domestic tourists will find a hard time finding a spot in their favorable hotels next year, an “early reservation” was important more than ever now.
“The hotels are now allocating 80 percent of their capacities to foreigners, whereas 20 percent to domestic tourists. This latter figure stood at 30-35 percent last year,” Bağlıkaya said, adding that the hoteliers’ reason of action stemmed from their making investments in foreign currency.
“It is difficult for them to be indebted in foreign currency and make their payments in liras. In the end, this is a business. We forecast that the increase in prices for domestic tourists will be about 40 percent in 2019 compared to 2018,” he added.