The tourism sector is off to a good start

Kaan Kavaloğlu, President of Mediterranean Touristic Hoteliers Association (AKTOB), stated that this year has started well for the tourism sector. He noted that reservations, which felt almost zero because of earthquake from February 6 to March 5 last year, would be surpassed this year, leading to a positive outcome. Kavaloğlu said, "During this period, there will be a significant flow of reservations to Antalya and Türkiye."

"What makes the Russian market look good?"

Pointing out that Russia is the market that requires caution this year, AKTOB President stated, "It is said that Russia is doing well, but this 'well' is relative. What criteria define it as doing well? Compared to a period where reservations hit rock bottom during a time of war, of course, it seems to be doing well. However, we are still behind compared to 2019 when Russians used to get early reservations and we reached record levels of early reservations."

"Russia will be the leader in 2024 as well"

Noting that Russia sent the most tourists to Türkiye in 2023 and expecting a similar situation in 2024, Kaan Kavaloğlu said, "Germany is doing well and improving every year, but we have only recently reached the figures of 2015 in Germany. We need to look at how many Germans we were bringing to Antalya in 2015, how many we brought in 2023, and what is Germany's market share. So, if we can grow Germany in the same way, then we can talk about a completely different tourism."

"Türkiye's tourism goals depending on conditions"

Indicating that when the Russia-Ukraine war ends, problems in Türkiye's geography decrease, and the German market grows proportionally, and Russia achieves a full recovery, Türkiye's tourism goals will become realistic targets, Kavaloğlu said, "We have been through very difficult times in the last 5 years. We have reached a point where we can breathe in 2-3 months in events where our competitors have not recovered in 2-3 years."

Thousands of people protested mass tourism in Spain Thousands of people protested mass tourism in Spain

"The best reservations come from the UK, Germany, and Poland"

Referring to the situation of early reservations according to markets, AKTOB President Kaan Kavaloğlu said, "The best early reservations come from the UK and Germany. Since there were almost no early reservations last year, Russia seems to be good in percentage terms, but numerically, Germany and the UK are leading. Of course, we also need to pay special attention to Poland here."

"Tourism without Türkiye and Antalya is not possible"

Kavaloğlu stated regarding the news about German tourism operators complaining about high prices in Türkiye last year and complaining about prices in Spain this year, and Spain losing package tour customers to Türkiye due to high prices, "The European Union did not perform well during the pandemic. Therefore, economically, they want unity in tourism movement. We see this clearly. There is a tendency towards Spain, Italy, Portugal, and Greece. We also say that tourism without Türkiye and Antalya is not possible. The cost-benefit we offer is always in favor of the consumer. It's much better than Spain."

"Tourism arrogance has begun in Spain"

Arrogance in tourism has begun in Spain. When you go to the beach, you even have to pay extra for the sunbeds. They even restricted the toilets. In other words, they are trying to restrict everything and make money from them. This is not a bad thing, but we have much more advantageous sides in competition.
Türkiye is getting Spain's package tour customers, but we also need to attract individual guests. In the best season, 18 million British people go to Spain, and only 7.5-8 million of them are on package tours. We consider 500 thousand Dutch tourists a success, but 5-6 million Dutch go to Spain. We have a long way to go. We compete heavily with them in package tours, but Spain is advantageous in individual travels."

"There is a significant number of people coming to Antalya via Istanbul"

Responding to a question about whether the target of 60 million guests set by Minister of Culture and Tourism Mehmet Nuri Ersoy for 2024 is achievable, Kavaloğlu said, "Last year, despite everything, we fell slightly short of the set target. If there are no major problems, I think this target is a realistic for Türkiye. I say we will exceed 16.5 million in Antalya. But there is something very important here. There is a significant number of transit passengers coming to Antalya via Istanbul. When we include these figures, Antalya will exceed 17 million this year. Plus, we will see that the number of Turks living in Europe has increased from 600 thousand to 900 thousand."

Editor: Savaş Daş