“Climate emigration” and, above all, to the resorts of Turkey, was offered to German pensioners by the local association of travel agencies. According to the Turkish media, “due to a possible shortage and even higher energy prices in the coming winter,” German travel agencies have offered to send older people on vacation to warmer places in the cold season so that they can save on heating their apartments and houses, thereby by spending less Russian gas.
“Retirees can help with the decision to cope with rising prices and conserve energy,” says Maria Linnhoff, chairman of the German Association of Independent Travel Agencies (VUSR), pensioners. The association has offered older people the opportunity to travel in winter to warmer countries for longer periods of time, with Turkey, Tunisia and the Spanish tourist island of Mallorca named as potential destinations.
“The government could encourage more citizens, some of whom are already wintering in some of these places, by subsidizing such trips,” she added. She estimates that such a subsidy could be up to 500 euros, while the average price of a long-term tour to Mallorca – 50 days, enough for most of the winter – is about 1300 euros or 950 euros “self-catering”.
“Pensioners will also receive grants, we save gas for industry and support recreational areas,” said the head of the association of 7,000 travel agencies. However, it should be noted that politicians are not at all enthusiastic about the idea that pensioners should not “freeze because of Putin, but ride against Putin,” and partly with state money. Ralf Stegner of the Social Democratic Party (SPD) told Bild that this is a “crazy idea” that “definitely does not contribute to our energy policy objectives.” Politicians also calculated that this proposal would cost at least 10 billion euros, not counting rent and transportation costs. In addition, even among the “rich European pensioners” not many can afford the double burden of continuing to rent at home and living abroad at this time. So the idea is hardly feasible from the point of view of politicians.
But she is welcome in Turkey. “Such a proposal would also be of great importance for Turkish tourism and would help create jobs,” representatives of the sector told Hürriyet newspaper. This is actually the fulfillment of a long-term dream of “market diversification”. At the same time, they recalled that Germany was the best market for Antalya and last year was the second largest market in Turkey after Russia. Around 3.1 million German tourists arrived in Turkey, up 175.7% from 1.1 million in 2020, with a record 5.5 million German arrivals in 2015.
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