For the first time since 2015, we are entering the year with excitement for what the coming season may bring in terms of tourist numbers in Turkey. Industry specialists, tour operators, the press and media are tipping Turkey as a 2018 ‘travel trend’ and expecting a revival in popularity – let’s hope that’s the case. Here’s a look at the positive facts, the figures and predictions we know so far…
Turkey is “bouncing back” says ABTA and The Times!
ABTA (The Association of British Travel Agents) has reported that the number of bookings to Turkey has risen 69% on last year. Fabulous! The Daily Sabah quoted an ABTA spokesperson, “Turkey is bouncing back after some challenging years, offering great value for money holidays in picturesque resorts”. They are now tipping Turkey as a “travel trend” in 2018, also predicted by British broadsheet The Times.
Turkey’s Tourism Minister expects a “full recovery in 2018”
Numan Kurtulmus, Turkey’s Tourism Minister, told the Hurriyet Daily News that he was confident of a “full recovery” for the sector in 2018. Read our full report here.
Dalaman’s new international terminal will welcome its first visitors in April
The work on Dalaman’s fancy new international terminal is almost complete and authorities have announced it will officially open on 28th April, in time for the 2018 summer season. The terminal, with an ambitious passenger capacity of 15 million, covers 155,000sqm and will run direct flights to and from 19 UK airports as well as a number of other European and International destinations.
Jet 2 upped seats to Turkey by 70,000 and announced new direct flights to Antalya and Dalaman.
Back in November, Jet 2 announced new weekly direct routes to Turkey from Belfast, starting from June. This came soon after they announced they are increasing their seat allowance to Turkey by 70,000, making a total capacity of 140,000.
TUI (Formally Thomson) announced additional weekly flights to Dalaman and Antalya this week.
Additional weekly flights to Turkey from Manchester, Newcastle and Luton airports were all announced this week by TUI.
TUI Germany say bookings to Turkey are up 70% for 2018
TVW reported last Wednesday that TUI Germany is increasing its flight capacity to and from Antalya by 100,000 seats this summer, this comes in response to a 70% increase in bookings. Thomas Cook subsidiary Oger Tours also announced they are intending a 20% increase in capacity to cope with growing demand.
Winter tourism numbers up in Turkey
Turkey is enjoying up to 80% hotel occupancy rates in many of its popular winter tourism and ski destinations reported the Daily Sabah last Monday. This boom in popularity is largely due to increased numbers of foreigners enjoying the financial benefits of great exchange rates. Visitors from Russia, Japan, Iran, Georgia and the Middle East are heading for the Black Seas first ski centre Zigana, along with Mount Erciyes and Erzurum, also famed for their ski facilities. With current numbers so high before the traditional peak in February, tourism experts are estimating a rise from 1.5 million visitors in 2017 to over 2 million this year – a great start for the year!
Let’s hope that we really can look forward to seeing the streets and local businesses a busier this season – it certainly sounds promising.
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