Hotel occupancy rates to pass 80 pct in Turkey during 9-day Eid al-Fitr public holiday
ANTALYA - Doğan News Agency
AA photoHotel occupancy rates in Turkey’s touristic regions will increase to over 80 percent during the nine-day public holiday for Eid al-Fitr this year, amid a significant drop in foreign arrivals, according to tourism representatives.
The holiday was planned to officially start on July 5 and end on July 7. However, Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım recently signed a circular declaring that July 4 (a Monday) and July 8 (a Friday) would also be holidays, effectively creating a nine-day public holiday, including the two weekends.
“The extension of the public holiday to nine days will bring some relief to tourism players, especially in the Mediterranean resort of Antalya,” said the vice president of the Touristic Hoteliers Association of the Mediterranean (AKTOB), Tolga Cömertoğlu, who called for more local tourists to make reservations within the country rather than abroad.
The number of foreign tourists, especially Russian tourists, visiting the Mediterranean resort of Antalya has plunged dramatically over this year as rising security concerns and the jet crisis with Russia hit the country’s tourism sector. Over 1.5 million tourists visited Antalya by air in the first five months of the year, a 42 percent decline compared to the same period of 2015.
Susesi Luxury Resort General Manager İsmail Tirali said hotel occupancy rates will exceed 80 percent during the nine-day holiday, even hitting over 85 percent.
“Fortunately, we have seen a significant rise in the number of local tourists, although the room prices are much lower this year than the average was last year or before,” said Emre Önen, tatil.com’s Mediterranean region chief.
Önen added that the periodic rise in reservations would be far from bringing a permanent cure to the struggling sector.
“Local tourists’ reservations have been at good levels so far, but we need more. We have seen a dramatic decline in reservations from foreign tourists, much steeper than we had expected earlier. We hope the problems will not last in the coming years,” said the vice president of the Kundu Tourism Investors (KUYAB), Abdullah Keleş.
According to Keleş, many hotels needed to slash their prices sharply to lure tourists and make a healthy financing cycle possible.
Tourism players also noted that the average reservation length for the upcoming public holiday was five days.