UK agencies offering almost free holidays

UK agencies offering almost free holidays

ISTANBUL- Hürriyet Daily News
UK agencies offering almost free holidays

Some leading United Kingdom tour agencies are offering 2 pound per night accommodation at hotels on Turkey’s Aegean coasts during the country’s low season. Hürriyet photo

As nearly 2 million British delayed their vacation due to the economic crisis, leading British tourism agencies, including Thomas Cook, created new holiday packages that cost less than 2 pounds per night on Turkish shores, the agencies announced on their official websites on Monday.

“This is a serious market strategy,” Osman Ayık, board member of the Turkish Hotels Federation, or TÜROFED, said to Hürriyet Daily News on Wednesday, noting that many British tour operators recently started dealing with Turkish hotels for such promotional packages. Joe, an Irish tourism agency also offered tour packages for 2 pounds per night in hotels in Dalaman, one of Turkey’s popular touristic destinations in the Mediterranean region, daily Sabah said on Tuesday.

Hotels may lose money

British companies are offering packages at two- and three-star hotels on Turkey’s western coast, said Ayık, noting that the promotional deals are targeted to attract British tourists upset by Britain-based Holiday’s 4 U’s bankruptcy in the first week of August. Nearly 12,800 customers of the company were on holiday in Turkey when the company went bankrupt. “It might seem that Turkish hotels would lose money with such deals, but this is wrong,” he said explaining that tourists pay for the hotels’ additional services, which still makes it profitable.

“The market was destabilized by the bankruptcy of Holiday 4 U,” said Ayık, adding that British firms aim to gain back the loss of motivation among the Brits visiting Turkey after the country posted nearly 10 percent decrease in British tourists this summer.

“We have not yet agreed on such deals with British tourism agencies,” Halil Özyurt, of Bodrum Hoteliers Association, or BODER, said to the Daily News on Wednesday over the phone. According to him, it is natural that the firms search for new marketing models to attract customers from the bankrupt company. “With the 2 pounds per night offer, firms are targeting thousands of tourists that were left “high and dry.” He said that Turkish hoteliers lost nearly 350,000 pounds due to the bankruptcy, adding that the leading Turkish hoteliers and tour operators are currently working on launching a new travel risk insurance to avoid such losses in the future. He added, “British tourists struck by the economic crisis could prefer such offers.”

Şinasi Hurdağ, board member of Turkish Hotels Federation, or TÜROFED, and owner of Tusan Beach Resort in the Aegean town of Kuşadası spoke to the Daily News on Wednesday, saying that high quality hotels would not welcome the package deals. “I recently heard that some small hotels started to agree for such promotional packages with British firms,” Hurdağ said.