Germans continue to show interest in Türkiye’s tourism

Germans continue to show interest in Türkiye’s tourism

Ahmet Külahçı - BERLIN
Germans continue to show interest in Türkiye’s tourism

Following a month since the deadly Feb. 6 quakes, Türkiye’s tourism sector is gearing up to prepare for the summer season as Germans continue to show increasing interest, a sector representative says, adding that the sector, which expects 60 million tourists and $56 billion in revenue this year, is discussing the impact of the earthquake.

There is good news from Germany for those in the sector who were worried about cancelations in the first days after Feb. 6 earthquakes.

Norbert Fiebig, president of the Association of German Travel Agencies (DRV), said that Türkiye was the number one choice of German tourists.

Answering Hürriyet’s questions at the Berlin International Tourism Fair (ITB), the world’s largest tourism fair, which is being held for the first time this year after a three-year break, Fiebig said he was sure that interest in Türkiye would continue to grow.

“In the first few days after the earthquake, there was a drop in bookings to Türkiye,” Fiebig said. “However, this was quickly overcome. Türkiye has regained its number one position for summer holiday bookings. We estimate that the pre-pandemic figures will be comfortably reached in 2023. Although it is not easy to make a clear prediction, we expect a record number of tourists from Germany to Türkiye this year.”

According to the Culture and Tourism Ministry, the number of tourists coming from Germany between Jan. 1 and Feb. 28. was 79,797, making Germany the second biggest tourism market for Türkiye after Russia.

According to official data, 5.3 million tourists came to Türkiye from Germany in 2019, with the number decreasing to 2.1 million in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of German tourists visiting Türkiye increased again in 2021, reaching 4.7 million and 5.7 million Germans traveled to the country last year.

Ali Onaran, chairman of Pronto Tour, said that international bookings had been slightly affected in the short term following the earthquake.

“I do not expect a drop in the spring and summer seasons,” Onaran said.
“Those coming from distant destinations do not evaluate the regions affected by the earthquake separately, there is no decrease in forward demand, even from Italy to Iraq. They say that they direct sales to Türkiye to support a little. Countries such as Russia, Georgia, Bulgaria, Iran and Germany, which come in the winter, all showed a decline in February,” he added.

Mehmet İşler, president of the Aegean Tourist Operators and Accommodation Association (ETİK), said that despite a slowdown after the earthquake, international bookings had returned to normal.

“Türkiye has economic opportunities for foreigners. Our biggest problem in the foreign market is the cost. The costs are constantly increasing, the foreign currency is not increasing, it is being suppressed. The gap is narrowing, and the sales we make in the foreign market do not leave any profit for the tourism sector. The profitability of the tourism sector will drop significantly this year. Even if the bookings go well, there will not be as much profitability as before,” he said.