Over 2.6 mln Turks make early bookings for holidays in Turkey in 3 months: Association
DHA photoMore than 2.6 million Turks have made early bookings for their 2017 holidays in the country in just three months, a leading tourism representative said, adding that the figure was expected to surpass 5 million in the upcoming months.
Sector representatives say the reason behind the introduction of these campaigns was an attempt to help the ailing sector rebound its losses after continuous defeat in the Turkish Lira’s value and big cuts in hotel prices in the country.
Early reservation campaigns were launched on Dec. 12 for local tourists.
“Some 5.4 million local tourists have made early reservations in a five-month period last year. We are very optimistic for this year, as more than 2.6 million Turks have benefited from early reservation offers in just three months after such campaigns started late in 2016. We expect this figure will see further rise as the weather gets warmer,” said Mehmet İşler, vice president of the Hoteliers Federation of Turkey (TÜROFED), as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency on Feb. 13.
He noted that the share of local tourists in the country’s tourism stood at around 15 percent, which is expected to increase over this year.
“We will see how local tourists are of great significance to our sector in 2017, by creating a strong resilience factor against crises. We will see more local tourists travelling in the country,” he added.
Another sector player noted that the campaigns, which offer up to 50 percent price cuts and nine-installment payment opportunities, were preferred mainly by public servants.
“Public servants can easily plan their travels in earlier dates than many others do. We have seen a flocking demand in early reservations for this year mainly due to the rise in foreign exchange rates, significant slashes in hotel prices and partly some sort of ‘national stance’ by some people to help the sector overcome its losses,” said Cem Polatoğlu, the spokesperson of the Tour Operators Platform, as quoted by state-run Anadolu Agency.
Early reservations campaigns will last until May 31, according to sector players.
The number of foreigners visiting Turkey declined to 25.3 million in 2016, a 30 percent drop compared with 2015, after a series of bomb attacks, a crisis with Russia, and a failed military coup attempt in July 2016.