Turkey aims to increase its share of the luxury tourism market

Duygu Erdogan – ISTANBUL

Turkey, whose share in the world’s upper segment tourist destinations is increasing day by day, is creating strong alternatives for high-income tourists with investments in luxury hotels.

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These facilities are supported by signature restaurants, marinas, golf courses and unique bays.

This summer, the share of British tourists staying at these high-end establishments is expected to be high. While the war in Ukraine casts doubt on the arrival of Russian and Ukrainian tourists, large numbers of tourists are also expected from Germany, France and the United States. Domestic tourists are also expected to make up a significant share of luxury hotel stays.

“Russia, Ukraine and the countries of the former Soviet Union represent 15% of our occupation. We can cover the loss in these segments of the domestic market, Europe and the UK,” said Tunç Batum, General Manager of Hilton Dalaman Sarıgerme Resort & Spa, a luxury hotel in Fethiye on the Mediterranean coast of the Turkey.

He added that domestic, British and European tourists are at the top of the hotel’s booking list.

D Maris Bay in Göcek continues to get bookings from Russia, while seeing increased interest from European and American markets.

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Cenk Türkmenoğlu, general manager of the hotel, said that the establishment mainly serves yacht tourists.

“During the season, many boats are moored in our bay, and thanks to the convenience of our hotel’s bay, a natural marina is formed,” he said.

“Many different yachts, including mega yachts, visit our hotel during the season, and it can be difficult to find a berth due to high demand. Besides the hotel staff, we have a special yacht service team established to provide special services to yacht owners.

Amanruya Bodrum managing director Igor Barba noted a global trend among high-income tourists in the post-pandemic period. He said the popular resort town of Bodrum would see increased interest.

“What we’re seeing is a return to some well-known destinations,” Barba said.

“Although this is slow for the ever-popular Thailand, it is much faster for Southern European countries and all Mediterranean destinations. We will surely see the French and Italian Riviera bloom again this summer. The Greek islands will also be at the center stage, but I’m sure the Turkish Riviera will also get its fair share of high-income travellers, with Bodrum being the jewel in the crown.

Ferman Doğan, General Manager of Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum, agreed that the town will get its well-deserved place among the top destinations this summer.

“Turkey, which is the fourth most preferred country in Germany and the third in the Netherlands, receives more demand than other destinations,” he said.

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“Eastern Europe, Western Europe and the UK show great interest in Turkey. We cannot attribute this situation only to the price advantage, I think the quality of services offered by Turkey is the most important factor here.

The loss of Ukrainian and Russian tourists can be compensated, Doğan added.

“In 2022, 2 million Russian tourists are expected to come to our country, but it would not be correct to say the same about Ukraine,” he said.

“There are major efforts in Europe for replacement markets. TUI, Europe’s largest tour operator, said it plans to bring 1 million European tourists to Antalya and 500,000 tourists to Bodrum, Dalaman and Fethiye this year. It has already started negotiations with Turkish hotels for a capacity increase for 2023.”

Sharon P. Juarez