Turkey is sounding the alarm: Russian tourists have declined and generated losses

Turkey is sounding the alarm: Russian tourists have declined and generated losses

Turkey has felt the serious consequences of the losses in the tourism market, which were caused by Russian travelers due to their absence from the resorts of the republic in the coming season. The local press cited alarming remarks about the prospects of the President of the Mediterranean Association of Tourist Hoteliers and Operators (AKTOB) Kaan Kavaloglu.

According to the conclusions of the head of the department, announced at a meeting held in June, Turkey needs to sound the alarm: the tourist southern province of Antalya is currently developing successfully in the British market, but is experiencing a crisis due to a decrease in the tourist flow from Russia, one of its main tourist donors.

“It was a“ different ”season

The President of AKTOB, who made the report, emphasized that this year was a “different” holiday season: “The season started late due to climatic conditions, and this upset us. If we talk about hotel occupancy, then some of them are no longer available, but there are those that have not reached the desired level of occupancy, and this worries us.”

Antalya, traditionally chosen by Russian holidaymakers, is now increasing its presence among British tourists, who previously preferred the resorts of the province of Mugla and the Aegean Sea (Bodrum, Marmaris, Fethiye, etc.). More than 1 million British tourists spent their holidays in Antalya hotels last year. The number of Russian tourists, on the contrary, is declining. “This year we expect 1.5 million Britons in Antalya. Britons who prefer urban destinations during their holidays most often choose Mugla, he noted. — Despite this, Antalya is steadily increasing its market share. I think that in the future it will become a leader among tourist destinations in Turkey.”

Turkish experts: The absence of the Russian tourist market causes only losses

Significant losses are observed from the Russian tourism market, despite the increase in the volume of the tourist market from the UK. The head of the association complained that travelers from the Russian Federation prefer to rest in Dubai (UAE) and Egypt, rather than in Turkey: “The number of Russian tourists coming to Turkey is declining. We have to admit that in (pre-Covid) 2019, 50% of all visitors were Russian tourists. We strive to maintain this figure in the future, but, unfortunately, everything indicates that we will not be able to do this. The new trend is making it difficult for our business as we find it difficult to find alternative markets. Although the presence of the British in Turkish resorts is increasing and the presence of Germans is growing, this is not enough to cover the shortage of Russian tourists.”

Data compared to pre-Covid 2019

Kavaloglu analyzed the current tourism data and sounded the alarm: “Turkey ranks 4th in terms of revenue in the first three months of 2023. In the ranking of attendance for the first quarter of this year, the countries of the Middle East, which were in last place in 2019, now occupy the first positions. Data for other regions is still significantly inferior to 2019. In the first quarter of 2023, losses were 14% compared to 2019. While Turkey and Antalya have handled this situation better, these losses are still being felt and persist around the world.”

Turkey looks into Dubai’s pocket

Speaking of the cities with the highest tourist spending in the world, Cavaloglu mentioned Dubai (UAE), Doha (Qatar), London (UK), Macau (China), Amsterdam (Netherlands), Istanbul (Turkey), Barcelona (Spain) ), New York (USA), Singapore and Paris (France).

Dubai, with its attractiveness and independence from current conflicts, is in a winning position, attracting a large number of Russians. “I would like to draw attention to Dubai, because during the conflict in Ukraine, and Russia is our first and Ukraine's third markets, this independent city provided an excellent opportunity for most Russian tourists. At the moment, Dubai has found its opportunity and made money on it,” the Turkish representative concluded.

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