Turkey’s embattled tourism sector has been experiencing an amazing rebound as early bookings from German travelers already soared for summer 2018, a leading sector player from Germany has announced.
Speaking in a meeting held by the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TYD) late on Jan. 24, Michael Frenzel, the president of the Federal Association of the German Tourism Industry (BTW), underlined a significant increase in early bookings by German tourists for Turkey.
“According to TUI data, there has been a nearly 70 percent year-on-year increase in early bookings by German travelers for summer 2018 for Turkey. As a BTW executive, I find this amazing,” he said, as quoted by Reuters on Jan. 25.
“There is an increase in Antalya-bound flights. Turkey has been making an amazing rebound in tourism,” Frenzel added.
In the first 11 months of 2017, nearly 3.5 million Germans visited Turkey, while this figure was almost 3.8 million in the same period of the previous year.
In the January-November period of 2015, 5.4 million Germans visited Turkey.
Specifically, German families prefer the Turkish market to visit, according to Frenzel.
“With its fair pricing policy, Turkey offers a family-friendly alternative in its region,” he noted, while also voicing some concerns about the hotel prices in the country and adding that Turkey should avoid steep price hikes when demand recovers.
‘Germany may become top tourism market again’
At the same meeting, Turkish Development Minister Lütfi Elvan said Germany would likely become Turkey’s top tourist market again.
“We expect much more German arrivals into our country in 2018. I believe Germany will become our top tourism market again over this year,” he added.
In 2017, Russia became Turkey’s top tourism market as bilateral ties between the two countries normalize.
Elvan noted that foreign tourist spending per capita is around $650-$700 in Turkey, but it must be increased to $1,000 levels.
“If we can achieve this, Turkey’s current account deficit-to-GDP, which is around 5 percent now, will decrease to 2.5 percent,” he said, adding that a comprehensive transformation project for Turkey’s tourism was on the government’s agenda.
Elvan also noted that the 2018 target was to lure 36 million tourists and to reach a $28 billion tourism earning.
Increased security fears following an attempted coup and a series of bomb attacks slashed Turkey’s tourism revenues in 2016 to $22.1 billion from $31.5 billion in 2015.