Evaluating the 2023 tourism season and disclosing the expectations for 2024, Emre Narin stated, "2023 needs to be divided into two parts. On February 6th, we experienced a very unfortunate event for the country. With its effects both domestically and internationally, the first half of 2023 did not go well. We faced difficulties until the end of June. Especially in the Antalya market, the activity that should have started around April-May began at the end of June. There was a movement with the holiday in July, and we had a good season from August onwards. It was a good season in terms of occupancy, but not in terms of costs. No one had a good season. There was a problem with the exchange rate and inflation, but we hosted our customers and did our trade."

"We expect it to be a good season, but there are many geopolitical events"

Narin noted that demand in European markets is strong, while tourists from Russia tend to book last-minute holidays. He said, "Our expectations for this year seem the same. The European market is strong. Our key markets such as Germany and the UK are doing well. There is strong demand in Poland. There is an increase in the domestic market. We proved this during the semester break. The Russian market is lagging behind a bit. Due to the uncertainty in the region, Russian tourists are turning to last-minute bookings. We expect it to be a good season, but there are many geopolitical events. Let it be a normal season, let the season start and end as it started. The tourism sector is already a sector that can react quickly. I think we will have a season with figures higher than last year. We look positively at this year."

"I don't think we'll struggle as much as last year"

Responding to a question about whether the cost-price increase-competition equation experienced by Turkish hoteliers last year will also occur this year, Narin said, "The same equation continues this year, but I anticipate it will continue on a slightly smaller scale. When we consider the end-of-year exchange rate forecasts and inflation data, I don't think we'll struggle as much as last year. But it wouldn't be unrealistic to foresee that we will experience difficulties in the inflation-exchange rate gap again."

Savas Emre Narin

"We're not used to something happening in six out of eight years"

Emre Narin mentioned the possibility of reevaluating urban investments, saying, "If there is an opportunity in the coming period, we may try urban hotel management again. But the most important issue for investors is that the investment environment is predictable and foreseeable. From the 2015 season to now, for 8-9 seasons, except for 2018-2019, we haven't had a season that we can reference. We're not used to something happening in six out of eight years. If the waters calm geopolitically, I think investments will increase even more. We left Istanbul in 2016. It was a commercial decision at the end of the day. We entered with a commercial decision, and we left with one. But that doesn't mean the door is completely closed; if an opportunity arises, we will reconsider."

Istanbul's new luxury hotel opened its doors! Istanbul's new luxury hotel opened its doors!

"After agriculture, tourism is the most intense sector"

Regarding the personnel issue, Narin said, "The main issue that needs to be resolved in the sector is personnel. We have bright young people coming out of universities. But especially during the pandemic period, there was a reverse migration in the sector. We lost a lot of staff. The staff we lost is not coming back. The personnel coming out of universities are not enough. Investments continue on one hand. We collaborate with schools and provide support. This is an issue that needs to be addressed by the state. It is addressed, but the sector is very large and still growing. We also need these people. After agriculture, tourism is the most intense sector in the world. Therefore, a solution needs to be produced for this issue. Some businesses solve this by bringing in personnel from abroad. This is also one of the solutions we resort to. Hotels are on the land of this country. I also think we need to solve this internally."

"We have increased our market diversity as the Martı Group"

Emre Narin expressed that they expect a 40% growth in overnight stays, saying, "2023 was better than 2022. In 2024, we expect about a 40% growth compared to 2023. As the Martı Group, we have increased our market diversity. We have extended the opening hours of our hotels. Martı Resort is open all year round. We keep Martı Myria open until November. Last year, we had some investments in our facilities. The return on these investments takes time. This year, we expect a 40% growth in overnight stays. We also have a marina, which operates at full capacity. Since the pandemic, the number of boats has increased significantly, but the number of marinas to accommodate these boats is not increasing rapidly. It is not so easy to obtain permits for marinas everywhere in the world."

"There is demand from Germany and the UK for early bookings"

Providing information about early bookings, Emre Narin said, "Germany and the UK are leading in early bookings. We're returning to pre-pandemic levels. Both our British and German partners tell us the same thing this year. They report that reservations are above last year's level when compared. Germany was well above last year until the end of December; now it has slowed down a bit. There was a decrease in European sales after the earthquake disaster we experienced last year. With the base effect, sales will increase much more percentage-wise from today onwards."

Editor: Haber Merkezi