Hotel occupancy rates in Turkey drop below 50 percent amid tourist squeeze
ISTANBULTurkey’s hotel occupancy rates plunged below 50 percent in the first month of this year, the Turkish Touristic Hotels and Investors Association (TÜROB) said in a written statement on March 7.
The drop in Turkey, amid a number of coinciding challenges to the country’s tourism sector, marked the sharpest drop in hotel occupancy rates in Europe.
Hotel occupancy rates decreased by 6.2 percent to 47.6 percent in January compared to the same month of 2015, according to data compiled by TÜROB from STR Global’s January figures.
Hotels in Istanbul were worst hit, with hotel occupancy rates in Turkey’s largest city declining by 11 percent to 48.7 percent in January compared to the same month of 2015. Istanbul was also the city that saw the second biggest plunge in hotel occupancy rates in Europe.
While average daily room prices were 102.4 euros in January 2015, they were 97.1 euros in January 2016. Average revenue per available room also decreased from 15.6 percent in January to 47.3 euros compared to the same month of 2015.
The Mediterranean resort of Antalya saw an increase in hotel occupancy rates but this was because most of the province’s hotels were closed in the winter season, according to TÜROB. Hotel occupancy rates in Antalya thus increased by 14 percent to 42.6 percent in January compared to the same month of 2015.
The rate decreased by 9.6 percent to 50 percent in the capital Ankara, with TÜROB putting the drop down to escalating security concerns after recent bomb attacks.
The number of foreign arrivals from Russia to Turkey declined significantly in the first month of 2016 amid rising political tension between Ankara and Moscow, temporary data from the Tourism Ministry showed on Feb. 29.
The overall number of foreign arrivals dropped by 6.44 percent to 1.17 million in January compared to the same month of 2015, according to the ministry’s data.
In 2015 as a whole, Turkey’s tourism revenues fell by 8.3 percent, down to $31.46 billion, amid a large drop in the number of tourists from Russia and Europe.
Turkey ranked 20th in Europe in terms of hotel occupancy rates throughout the whole of 2015, with a rate of around 61.7 percent, according to STR Global data. Ireland topped the list with 77.7 percent, followed by Britain with 77.5 percent, Malta with 75 percent, and Belgium with 71.8 percent.