Hoteliers not to increase prices for domestic tourists in 2020: Jolly chairman
Burak Coşan – ANTALYA
Travel agency Jolly Tur’s chairman Meter Vardar said that hoteliers have reached an agreement to not increase their room rates in 2020 for domestic tourists.
“When we signed contracts with the hoteliers this year, we did not accept their demand for price increases. And as of October, we are initiating early reservation campaigns…This year, domestic tourists will do their vacation without any increase in [hotel] prices,” he said.
In the summer of 2019, the domestic tourism market shrank significantly due to a rise in prices. Firuz Bağlıkaya, president of the Association of Turkish Travel Agencies (TÜRSAB), had previously said that Turkish domestic tourists paid 40 percent more for their vacations in 2019 compared with 2018. This resulted from the fact that hotels allocated less space for domestic tourists due to the increase of the value of foreign currencies against the Turkish Lira.
But hoteliers will go for a different way in 2020 due to an almost 30-40 percent shrink in the number of domestic tourists in 2019, said Vardar. He said that normally on average, 5 million Turks buy tour packages, whereas in 2019 this figure went down to 3.5 million.
“The year of 2019 was not an easy one in terms of the domestic tourism market. The demand from abroad was very good, but the same thing was not the case for the domestic market,” Vardar said during the Antalya Tourism Fair on Oct. 28.
“In 2018, when we were making contracts with the hoteliers for the year of 2019, one euro was calculated based on eight liras; some hoteliers even wanted to make the contracts based on the parity of 10 liras. And since the prices were high, we [as Jolly Tour] closed the year [of 2019] with a 20 percent increase in turnover, while we were expecting a 40 percent increase in turnover. And the number of people [domestic tourists] fell 11 percent,” he said.
But the situation is different now, Vardar said, as they have signed contracts with the hoteliers based on better terms for domestic tourists.
“When we were making contracts this year, the EUR/lira parity was calculated as not eight, but 6.5. We did not accept the hoteliers’ demand for a price increase. Although we are conducting a commercial activity, we also see our job as a social responsibility project. So, there will be no price increase [for hotels]. And we persuaded the hoteliers that wanted a price increase,” he said.
Vardar said that although the demand coming from abroad for Turkey doubled for 2020 tourism, they were expecting the hoteliers to increase their space reserved for domestic tourists. “Last year, the space the hotels allocated for domestic tourists was 15 percent, but this year, it might go up to 25 percent,” he said.
Vardar also said that the travel agencies have already unveiled their early reservation campaigns, whereas in the past, they would do this in November. “Some of the hotels made a discount of 20 percent in early reservations last year, whereas this year, this discount was 30 percent. Last year, the domestic tourism market was a ‘loss,’ but this will not be the case this year,” he said.