Tourism activity may pick up after elections

Tourism activity may pick up after elections

Tourism activity may pick up after elections

The presidential election slated for a second round at the end of May is causing uncertainties in the tourism industry.

Sales are slow at the travel agencies, tour operators cannot make arrangements with airline companies due to uncertainties, people from the industry said.

However, holidaymakers and travelers are not canceling their plans, they said, adding that activity may pick up soon.

Operators, which bring foreign tourists, are expecting to start their tour programs after the election results are announced.

“Bookings are presently almost stagnant. The elections tie the hands of operators working in domestic and foreign markets,” said Mehmet İşler, the head of the Aegean Touristic Enterprises and Accommodations Association (ETİK).

Demand from the European and Russian markets is slow, he added.
The industry had a similar experience in the previous elections, according to İşler. “The market was stagnant in the run-up to the polls, but activity swiftly gained momentum afterward.”

He, however, pointed to the differences in the market conditions now and during the 2018 elections. This time around, the costs of hotels are on the rise, inflation is running high, and people travel less frequently as their purchasing power is eroding, according to İşler.

He also noted that travelers are now more inclined to renting houses instead of staying at tourist facilities. “This is another problem for the tourism industry.”

Tourism activity will not be very strong in the remainder of May in the Bodrum region because of the runoff in the presidential election, said Mete Üsküdarlı, general manager of Mivara Luxury Bodrum.

Touristic accommodation facilities are empty, and second homers have not arrived in the popular holiday destination, he added.

Üsküdarlı also said that their consultations with foreign tour operators suggest a revival in tourism activity once the election results are announced.

Election-related uncertainties affect their company, said Ali Onaran, the board chair at Pronto Tour, confirming that tour sales have been slow.

“It is not difficult to say how the exchange rate will move, whether people further delay their vacation plans due to economic concerns after the election,” Onaran said.