Jubiii – finally it is turning – the tourists are coming back to Turkey. It’s no secret that the last couple of years have been gloomy and black, black, black viewed from the tourist numbers in Turkey. Last year there were reports of a decline in visitor numbers of approx. 40% on average, which has to be said is quite scary. In 2014 there were about 40 million. Tourists, who decided to spend their vacation in Turkey, while the numbers had fallen to about 25 million. in 2016. The lack of Russians were nearly 100% during the diplomatic crisis last year. And that was really bad, because Russia was sovereign as the nation that sent the most people on holiday in Turkey. Many hotels, restaurants, companies and businesses had to close early in the middle of the season and have not opened since.
But now it finally seems, that it opens a bit up. The latest reports indicate, that tourists are coming back to Turkey. Several Danish travel companies was reporting “sold out” or only a few seats back in the high season. And they report of an increasing demand as per previous years. It is especially the cheap all-inclusive that are popular, where you get a lot more value in Turkey, than you do in a lot of other countries. Larger resorts, more pools, endless buffets, countless cultural and historical attractions and guaranteed sun. The price is nearly 20-30% lower than in many other countries. And that is something that can be felt and taken into account, when you’re looking for the next family holiday.
Diplomatic crisis or not:
The diplomatic crisis between Turkey and Russia has been cancelled, so that the Russian aircraft again arrives every hour in especially Antalya and Gazipasia airports . And that is also something that boosts the visitor numbers (and the economy) very well. Everything is not idyllic, but it’s getting there. I have spoken with a lot of businessowners in Antalya, who feared what 2017 could bring and were unsure, if they could survive in an industry that only seemed to go one way. If it had not been for an increasing domestic tourism, significantly more restaurants, shops, hotels etc. were already closed in Antalya. But with the latest messages, one can only hope, that things goes the right way and that more people can maintain their livelihood.
And otherwise not a word about the President, the diplomatic crisis between Germany and Turkey, the legitimacy of a continuing state of emergency in the country, terror and the other political line in the country … (if you absolutely want to read about it, you can read more here or here – it’s two of the most read articles on the blog at all)
Tourists love Turkey:
To be honest, there are really many things to love about Turkey, allthough not all things are equally stable regarding domestic policy. In any case, tourists have not been stucked in the various tensions (I’m not speaking of the terror episodes here). And it might be in peoples mind,and something they calculator with, before they book a trip to Turkey? Is it safe? Do we dare travel etc etc? For example, I have a very good colleague, who simply refuses to support the country as things are right now. It’s not an attitude I share, but respect for one’s attitude and reporting clearly. But all in all, I have the impression, that people have made their minds about how risky it is to travel in the country. And here more and more people have obviously realized, that it is a large country where the affected areas are far away. And that (at least yet) there has been no terror impact for central “tourist cities” in the Southern coast.
Then – Why do people travel to Turkey? In my optics, it’s super easy. The weather is definitely my favorite no. 1. I simply love that the weather is so stable well (at least for the summer months – it’s a matter of hot or more hot). It’s nice not to worry about which clothes to wear or pack in your suitcase. It’s just always hot. After many years my husband has finally admitted, that it’s something he actually misses by not living in the country anymore – the long stable period of warmth. If you want to know more about the weather, read about the weather in Antalya. Just the smell of heat makes me completely blessed. Maybe you have it the same way?
As if the stable weather was not enough, there is also the hot water (+26º in summer although there are deep in most places) and that is not so crazy. That the azure color hangs inextricably with the Mediterranean and Turkey is something dreams are made of. In my world there is nothing more nice and calming for the eye and the mind, than silent azure water that glitters in the sun. And water – that’s a lot of when, like Turkey, you have one of the longest coastlines along the Mediterranean Sea. If you dare to seek adventures on your own, there are countless little coves and beaches, one can discover, where there is peace and idyll and where the water seems more blue and exotic for every corner you round. That’s our experience whether we’ve driven very long or short trips along the coast from Antalya.
You get what you want :
The food is also something that you can travel for and coming back too – not too spicy, not too much, enough with vegetables and meat, if you come to the right places. And then you can always complement the burger and everything else. Because yes, you will get tired of kebab, french fries, white rice and bread. At least if it’s all you eat in a week or two. How many can say that about tomatoes, lemons, salad, fish and small tapas (meze) dishes ?? You can actually get it as you want.
You should also not forget, that Turkey is a significantly cheaper country, than most other holiday destinations. Once upon a time, countries such as Croatia and Spain were relatively cheap to travel to and in, but no longer after they were both admitted to the EU. Greece is still extremely popular and cheap, but Turkey still “leads” as a budget-friendly destination.
And finally, there is the absolutely irresistible hospitality, that you meet in every way – but perhaps most genuine and without reservations on the barely so touristy places. Before looking around, you are invited for dinner, for weddings or home with the Turks to see, how true Turks live. You can quickly get life-long friendships in Turkey if you want to.
So just take care about going to Turkey – there is a lot of “dangerous things” waiting … (of course, it’s purely ironic meant). The risk that you may fall in love with the country and coming back year after year is probably greater than anything else …