It has been noted that the Turkish tourism sector is losing its personnel to rival countries, primarily Egypt, and to fill the staffing gap, students from countries like Kyrgyzstan and Turkmenistan are being recruited.

During a meeting with journalists, the management of the Turkish Tourism Investors Association (TTYD) stated that approximately 100,000 tourism workers have moved abroad since the pandemic.

According to a report by Recep Genel from Sözcü newspaper, TTYD President Oya Narin said, “Before the pandemic, we had enough human resources. However, we couldn't retain this workforce. Everyone from security personnel to hairdressers, from waiters to chefs, is being transferred to the Arabian Peninsula.” Highlighting that tourism workers can earn between $3,000 and $5,000 per month in these countries, Narin added, “We are facing such difficulties that we are making agreements with schools in Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan to bring personnel to Antalya. We offer these recruits $500-600 plus room and board.”

Over 100,000 personnel have moved abroad

In response to journalists' questions about the number of workers who have left, TTYD Vice President Mehmet Nane stated, “Since the pandemic and afterwards, the number has exceeded 100,000. Turks are present in top management, key positions, as well as waiter and chef roles.” Nane pointed out that a significant portion of the staff in hotels in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, are Turkish. Oya Narin noted that Türkiye’s coastal regions are filled with five-star hotels and said, “We cannot accommodate lower-budget groups because there are no 4, 3, 2, and 1-star facilities.” Mehmet Nane emphasized that Spain has nearly 500,000 residence beds, stating, “Residences are very important for long stays. Facilitating residences is extremely important for the sector.”

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Prices in Türkiye are higher compared to competitors

TTYD Vice President Mehmet Nane highlighted that prices in Türkiye are higher for tourists compared to competitor countries, saying, “Imagine yourself as a tourist. Last year you came and bought a drink for 18-20 lira, which was less than 1 Euro. This year that drink is 40 lira, but the currency exchange rate has increased less. Naturally, you can no longer buy that drink for 1 Euro.” Nane pointed out that high inflation increases costs and that exchange rates have also risen by around 40%.

Bed capacity only utilized for 200 days a year

Oya Narin stressed the need for resources to modernize and renew the sector's bed capacity, saying, “Saudi Arabia, Dubai, and Egypt have made significant investments. We also need to prepare. The sector finances itself in two ways. One is bank loans, and the other is advance or discounted early payments through tour operators. This brings in 11-12 billion dollars from the south. The sector’s bed capacity is only utilized for 200 days a year. Our sector, which has a high need for operating capital, constantly faces a cash shortage.”

Editor: Haber Merkezi