FTI, one of the companies bringing the most tourists from Europe to Türkiye, filed for bankruptcy after the consortium led by the US-based investment firm Certares, which bought it for 1 euro in April, decided not to proceed with the acquisition. This development has caused significant concern among hoteliers, particularly with the summer season already underway. The withdrawal of FTI from the market has raised worries about the impact on current and future bookings.

Koçkar: "Don't shoot ourselves in the foot"

Speaking to Turizm Güncel, ANEX Group Chairman Neşet Koçkar emphasized that nearly 2 million passengers would be left in limbo with the exit of a major player from the market. Addressing whether these passengers could still travel to Türkiye, Koçkar stated: "Hoteliers need to stay calm and act rationally instead of panicking. First and foremost, it's essential not to let current and incoming passengers feel this situation. No one should engage in actions like demanding money from passengers or confiscating their passports, as the Ministry is very strict about this."

"These passengers are coming with FTI today, and they will come with another company tomorrow. Therefore, we must not alienate them or shoot ourselves in the foot. Hoteliers should remember that FTI brought millions of tourists to Turkey during the most challenging times, generating hundreds of millions of euros."

Possibility of bringing FTI passengers to Türkiye

Koçkar highlighted the increase in guarantees and passenger security in the tour operator industry in Europe following the bankruptcy of Thomas Cook, stating, "After Thomas Cook, guarantees were increased. Therefore, I believe that FTI has enough coverage to encompass all its passengers. Currently, agencies are already shifting reservations, thinking, 'We'll get our money from the insurance company anyway.' Hence, if the insurance company acts quickly, it is possible to bring FTI's capacity to Türkiye."

Boom in unlicensed and fake starred hotels in Türkiye Boom in unlicensed and fake starred hotels in Türkiye

Structural issues in the tour operation model

Finally, Koçkar touched upon the structural problems in the tour operation sector, noting that the business is becoming increasingly challenging. Emphasizing that the current model, which operates on a 1-2% commission, is not sustainable, the Chairman of ANEX Group stressed that the risks taken by tour operators are not proportional to their revenues.

Editor: Haber Merkezi