It is a pleasure to finally write something positive about Turkey and tourists. That the ship has turned around, that the tourists confidence in Turkey as a holiday destination is really coming back and that all this indicates that this year will become a record year of tourists visiting the country as of previous years.
Hard Years for Turkey
It’s no secret that Turkey in the last 3 years hasn’t belonged to the favorite destination for the vast majority of travelers from European and Scandinavian countries. 2015 and 2016 have announced a massive decline in the number of tourists visiting the country. Whole 40% decline has been the case. 2014 was the year with the uptil now highest number of tourists in the country, but the decline fell steadily over the next two years, and than rising slightly in 2017. Of course, it has a huge impact on business and is importent for the country’s economy, where tourism is the locomotive and contributes as a significant part of the Turkish economy.
What the fall is due to, there are certainly more reasons than I can list here: – there has been a strong crisis with Russia, elections in the EU with dubious rhetoric and focus on racism, politics and Islam from both sides, increased national and international threatening scene with terrorist attacks in several places, and not least the famed military coup in the summer of 2016, which caused turmoil and weakened confidence and the desire to plan holidays and travel in the country. If you would like to read more about this, I can recommend you to jump on last year’s undisputed most read post on “What awaits Turkey in 2017 – is it safe to travel” as well as my post from when I traveled alone last spring and that Even more positive posts about “Why are the tourists coming back to Turkey?”.
What are the prospects – will it be a record year?
Travel agencies across the EU are experiencing increasing demand for travels to Turkey. Families with children in particular are especially fond of the country, because there is a good balance between price and quality. In Germany, an increase is expected to be 40%, Scandinavia expects 30% and England tops with an expected increase of 69%. Norway alone has already seen an increase in bookings of 424% this year compared to the same period last year !! This has to be said to be an increase in rocket speed. It is quite practical that in Turkey as a whole this year is expected to be 35 million. tourists traveling to the country against eg 31.4 million in 2017 and 24 million. in 2016.
I always think it’s interesting to look at the numbers for Antalya, so you have an idea of what to expect when traveling on holiday there 😉 Antalya County covers a huge area of popular cities like Alanya, Side , Kemer and Antalya city, fortunately, the many tourists are well spread. In addition, in 2016, there were 6.2 million tourists in the region of 10.5 million in 2017. This year we aim at 13-14 million tourists to populate the region’s many luxurious hotels and beautiful beaches. It must be said to be a lot and will be a record year, if it is fulfilled! It is not for nothing that Antalya is the most popular destination in Turkey after Istanbul.
Why this sudden interest?
I think that in general, one are very aware that Turkey is a cheap country, that has a lot positive to offer both culturally, with great nature experiences and with constant and reliable weather. And then you get great value compared to many other destinations, such as the ever-popular France, Spain, Greece and Italy. A vacation in Turkey is often somewhere between 20 and 30% cheaper than these countries. And the quality of food and hotels is the same if not better. As Turkey is a newer destination than Spain, hotels and resorts are often significantly newer and better projected and developed, than in many other countries. It provides quality for money.
Several EU travel agencies report about great satisfaction among their customers regarding the quality of service and Turkey as a safe country.
And not least, one tries to take care of the aforementioned problem areas internally in Turkey. The crisis with Russia is resolved, one has better managed to lower the tone of the EU, there have been fewer terrorist acts than before (I hardly do not dare to mention it). The criticism of the country is notices. The United States has resumed all contact to the country and have regular visa service etc., etc.
And with increasing interest and demand are also rising prices. Everywhere they talk about giving prices a little increase once the first “early birds” have ordered and several hotels report to be fully booked for stays in high season.
Can the Turks renew themselves?
But one can not just ride on an (old) wave of success. There must be renewal if you want to maintain the constant interest for traveling in the country (although I now hear about striking numbers, for example, have an apartment in Turkey or in other ways constantly travel there and have been there both 20 and 30 times). And here it’s pretty nice to see that – finally – something is happening and the thinking is a bit more innovative. Ex. Has the Turkish Travel Agency Organization focused on different experiences and travel arrangements in the country such as health tourists (for cosmetic surgery, dental corrections, eye surgery, etc.), religious travels (both Muslim, Christian and Catholic), business travelers and also to promote Turkey as a winter destination with ski resorts and good weather. Ex. you can visit Antalya ski resort, where you can ski in the morning and swim in the Mediterranean in the afternoon. There is certainly no other place in the world of my knowledge you can do this.
And finally, Turkey opens up to cultivate new markets such as China, Japan, India, South Korea and Indonesia.
So yes, diversity is counting in Turkey. Now one can only fret, that one did not get the earliest and cheapest early bird flights, that were for sale in December and early January. But with the holiday plans finally in place, it’s just about keeping your eyes open from now on. So if you are reading this my dear Husband Dennis … then you know what I’m doing in the next few days 🙂