Bentour Chairman Kadir Uğur stated that the scenario he had outlined in 2023 has become a reality in 2024. In an article titled "Good wine needs no bush" the seasoned tourism expert remarked, "We achieved a good flow of reservations with early booking discounts. Yet, a few of our hoteliers who haven't learned from past experiences halted early bookings, thinking they could sell at higher prices later, but they were left stranded."

Here's Uğur's article

Good wine needs no bush

"I wrote last year predicting what would happen in 2024. I wish I had been wrong. But with 56 years of experience and intuition in this profession, I can't help but write again.

İnegöl’s first branded hotel: Elite World GO Bursa İnegöl İnegöl’s first branded hotel: Elite World GO Bursa İnegöl

We achieved a good flow of bookings with the discounts during the early booking period. Once again, a few hoteliers said 'we can sell at higher prices after the early booking period' and withdrewed the early booking discounts. Those hoteliers are now stranded. Their business now depends on last-minute sales. We, as tour operators, are now praying that prices do not fall below early booking rates. We are also advising hoteliers on this matter. Because when last-minute prices fall below early booking prices, guests cancel their previous reservations for free and rebook at the new prices.

Due to reasons beyond our control, Türkiye has become expensive destişnation in tourism. Businesses, the public, and tourists have started to be affected by this. Generally, when expenses increase, prices also rise. Here, the supply and demand mechanism comes into play, and the consumer says, 'I won't book at these prices.' As demand decreases, prices start to fall.

What should we do?

We, as tour operators, are already working with a laughable commission rate of 3.8% in Western Europe, and these margins only cover our basic expenses. So, it's impossible for us to offer any discounts. Hotels and airline companies need to consent margins between 10-15% instead of 30-40%. They need to curb unnecessary expenses, save without compromising on service, and stop wastefulness.

In which region of the world do hotels offer 100 varieties of food for free every evening? This kind of waste does not exist anywhere else except in our country and Antalya. If you limit the buffet, you can also reduce your kitchen staff. We need to change bed sheets every three days instead of daily. There are many more points where savings can be made in hotels, and professionals already know these.

We need to lower prices and retain our customers in this way."

Editor: Haber Merkezi